Black Friday will be 'average' for retailers this year, says economist

The biggest shopping day of the year should keep retailers right on track, according to a University of Missouri researcher.

The economy's not as bad as you might think, and this Black Friday is going to prove it, says one researcher.

"Retailers will come out OK" on one of the biggest shopping days of the year, said Joseph Haslag, economist at the University of Missouri-Columbia. "The numbers may not be great; they won't be horrible. There won't be any reason to walk away from Friday's numbers thinking the economy is in dire straits."

Toshiba Satellite
Best Buy will sell this Toshiba Satellite notebook bundled with a Canon printer for $229. (Click photo for full gallery.) Best Buy

Predictions like that ought to make retailers sleep a little easier. On Tuesday, one of them, the nation's largest video gamer retailer, GameStop, said it was anticipating a disappointing holiday sales season. Luckily, Haslag says holiday season and Black Friday sales don't make or break the U.S. economy, which is still growing at a 2.5-percent clip. It's not as robust as the 3-percent growth the nation saw between 1995 and 2005, but it's not terrible, either.

No matter what, retailers are still slashing prices left and right, particularly in the consumer electronics realm. Check out this gallery on some of the best deals before, during, and after Black Friday.

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