Shopping season is money in the bank for state budget - - Jackson, MS

Shopping season is money in the bank for state budget

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

With sales, deals and one time offers, retailers across the state are preparing for a surge of shoppers this holiday season, especially as many stand to make up to 50 percent of their profit in just about a month.

"TVs are huge and PlayStation three," said one store associate.

While hot ticket items mean great gifts and personal gains, it's a different type of gain for the state's budget. It means sales tax.

"Retail and wholesale trade account for 15 percent of the economy so it's really a critical time of the year," said state senior economist Marianne Hill.

Hill says nationally holiday sales are expected to be a little more than four percent higher than last year. In Mississippi that percent is expected to be a little lower, but Hill says it's still a good growth rate.

"Now we know that it might not be quite as rapid a growth rate as we were hoping for but on the other hand consumer confidence is very high at the moment," said Hill.

That's good economic news in a state where dollars are having to be stretched at the state capitol. Hill says that consumer confidence is driving more and more folks to take out debt in order to buy more.

"It has a very positive multiplier effect but consumers have to be careful that they don't overdo it," said Hill.

While the state is still coming out of an economic slump, Hill says there's no sign the state will be returning to those feeble conditions. With spending now in an upswing from years ago, the hope is to stay on track.

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