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Survey: Finance execs see strong Black Friday


New York - More than two-thirds (69%) of 276 finance industry executives expect 2014 Black Friday sales figures to grow at least 2% from their 2013 levels, with more than one-third (37%) expecting growth of 4% or more. Similarly, almost three-quarters of respondents to a survey from global brokerage firm Convergex (71%) say they expect total holiday season sales numbers to grow at least 2%, with 39% of respondents predicting a gain of 4% or more.

Investors believe Black Friday sales data are a strong indicator of the health of the economy and the retail sector and not just "hype." Seventy-four percent (74%) said Black Friday is a strong or very strong indicator of the health of the retail sector, and majorities believe it is a strong or very strong indicator of the health of the overall economy (51%) and the health of individual retailers (59%). Only isolated respondents identified Black Friday as "hype" when gauging the overall economy (3%), the retail sector (2%), or when evaluating individual retailers (1%).

Financial industry professionals also expect 2014 to be a big year for e-commerce, with 60% identifying online retailers as the fastest-growing shopping venue for this holiday season, followed by warehouse stores (13%) and department stores (11%). Respondents identified electronics (38%), computers and tablets (22%) and phones (16%) as the product categories that will perform best versus last year.

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