Some economists said two-thirds of the U.S. economy is driven by consumer spending.
The Saturday before Christmas could provide a major indicator as to the strength of the economy as well as the strength of local business.
That day is a tradition as one of the biggest shopping days of the year. According to the National Retail Federation, it usually accounts for 34 percent of holiday sales.
Local retailers said stores have been crowded and some even noticed an increase in male shoppers this weekend.
The NRF predicts an increase of four percent in holiday sales this year, bringing sale totals to nearly $210 billion.
Many retailers are discounting items this weekend to bring people into stores. East Lansing hopes to attract shoppers by providing free parking downtown until Dec. 29.
After this weekend, there are only two shopping days left until Christmas.
Shopping days are limited this year by a late Thanksgiving, which fell on Nov. 28.
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