BOCA RATON, Fla. - If it seemed more packed this year in the check-out lines at stores during Black Thursday and Black Friday, more shoppers most likely were out spending money.
Many stores reported increased sales during the start of the holiday shopping season, which usually starts on Thanksgiving.
Economist and Florida Atlantic University Professor Emeritus William Stronge said the country is seeing a busier start to the season because people are spending more money this year.
Stronge said the American consumer is back in part because the country has experienced three years of slow economic recovery. He said many consumer are starting to settle into their new "normal" for spending and feel comfortable opening their wallets more often.
Stronge said increased spending is not only a good sign nationally, but has big implications locally in Florida.
"There will be more jobs in our retail stores. There will be more jobs in our hotels and entertainment and restaurants. That will help bring our local economy back," said Stronge.
The FAU economist also said shoppers are not spending like they were before the recession hit. But he said it is getting back to a stable rate considered healthy for growth.