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White House economist says policies, early retail numbers project good holiday shopping season

"Those are all very good things, which should lead to a very strong holiday shopping season," said White House Chief Economist Joe Lavorgna.

Published: December 2, 2020 12:25pm

Updated: December 2, 2020 3:57pm

White House Chief Economist Joe Lavorgna expressed optimism Wednesday about retail sales during the Christmas holiday season during the pandemic, saying early shopping numbers and other economic indicators suggest a good period for business. 

"The job numbers have been excellent, and the income trends have been excellent," Lavorgna told "Just the News AM." "Those are all very good things which should lead to a very strong holiday shopping season."

Retailers and other business owners hit by the pandemic are hoping for a good season, considering the period from roughly Thanksgiving to Christmas Days is typically the busiest buying time of the year.

Lavorgna told show host Carrie Sheffield that holiday sales, which kicked in last week on Black Friday and continued through Cyber Monday, have been especially good in home furniture and appliances and in building material for renovations, amid coronavirus restrictions that continue to keep numbers low in dining and entertainment spending.

"The trends look excellent," he said, touting Trump administration economic policies as a key reason for the economy staying afloat during the nearly 10-month pandemic. "The economy doesn't operate in isolation, it operates and performs well when the policies in place allow it to perform at its maximum benefit."

With the weekend of sales wrapping up, Lavorgna says online sales have been very strong, which will help with a sharp drop in brick-and-mortar stores.

Retail tracker Sensormatic Solutions reports that Black Friday online sales increased by 22% from its record-breaking 2019 numbers, while U.S. brick and mortar store visits dropped by 52%. 

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