Credit card usage was quite rampant on Black Friday — it outstripped cash and debit-card payment by more than a two-to-one ratio. But when the bills come in early in the New Year, look for a bit of a consumer pullback — another risk to the Q1 outlook (especially if we wake up on December 17th and realize that Congress has recessed without extending last year’s tax goodies into 2012 — see House G.O.P. Is Divided On Extension of Payroll Tax on page All of the Saturday NYT).
I’ve been reminding you for a while now to keep an eye on Christmas shopping. It’s also why I didn’t get all excited about the nice Black Friday retailers just enjoyed. Christmas shopping is a season, and it’s shaping up to be a mean one, Mr. Grinch.