LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A researcher at New Mexico State University is predicting a strong holiday shopping season for New Mexico after different economic conditions this year compared to last.
Bruce Huhmann is forecasting a 4.4 percent increase in retail shopping compared to 2011.
He said there is strong consumer confidence with the economy adding more jobs and the housing market stabilizing.
The year is also the longest shopping season with 32 days from Black Friday to Christmas Eve.
Huhmann said a strong Black Friday weekend is extremely important to retailers.
"That weekend alone, Friday, Saturday and Sunday is ten percent of retail sales for the whole year so it's a huge deal," Huhmann said.
Huhmann added the holiday shopping season can be up to 40 percent of retailer's annual sales.
He expects the increased spend to continue as the economy appears to be on an upswing.
Nationally, Huhmann predicts a 5 percent increase.