Americans, by most measures, appear ready to shop this holiday season.
Consumer confidence is at a 17-year high, while unemployment is at a 17-year low. The economy appears to be humming, with growth of 3 percent at last measure. And initial numbers show millions more Americans shopped over the long holiday weekend than last year, spending an estimated $335 on average on gifts and other items, according to National Retail Federation.
But other indicators, like consumer borrowing on the rise and a slower savings rate, suggest there may be less merry times ahead. Robert Murphy, an economics professor at Boston College, said he’s generally positive for this holiday shopping season about consumer spending, but thinks economic growth may take a downturn next year.