Holiday Sales Watch

WRVO – The first week of holiday shopping was better than expected. Consumers bucked analyst predictions, spending four to six percent more over the past "black friday" weekend than last year.

Retail Council Spokeswoman Rebecca Marion says analysts believe the threat of war, high home heating costs, increased property taxes, and a struggling economy will keep consumer spending down. However, she says it's still too early to make predictions.

Marion says there have been signs that the economy is turning around. She says consumer confidence reports for October and January were better than expected, and the stock market is on the rise.

Marion says the popular gifts for kids seems to be "Harry Potter" themed-items, and for adults, practical gifts seem to be jumping off the shelves.