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Best of Our Blogs: 154M shop holiday weekend; Gas prices fall


More than 154 million shoppers hit the stores over Thanksgiving weekend, up from 151 million last year, according to the National Retail Federation.

Average spending per person over Thanksgiving weekend totaled $289.19, down slightly from $299.60 last year, a study conducted on behalf of the federation found.

Shoppers spent an average of $214.13 on gifts items this year, the survey found.

Roughly 44 percent of shoppers bought their items online, while about 40 percent opted to make their purchases in-store, the survey found.

The most popular day to shop online was Black Friday, followed by the Saturday after Thanksgiving, according to the federation.

“It was a strong weekend for retailers, but an even better weekend for consumers, who took advantage of some really incredible deals,” the federation’s president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “In fact, over one third of shoppers said 100% of their purchases were on sale.”

— Jennifer Sorentrue, Malled!

More Palm Beach County gas stations hit $1.99 a gallon price point

Palm Beach County’s average gasoline price fell two cents in the last week to $2.25 a gallon for regular Monday, but at least nine local gas stations are offering fuel for $1.99 a gallon.

AAA’s Fuel Gauge report says the Florida average dropped a penny in the past week to $2.09.

As usual, prices at a cluster of stations in the suburban Lake Worth/West Palm Beach area are the lowest reported for Palm Beach County on GasBuddy.com, along with Costco.

Gasoline is $1.99 a gallon at Cumberland Farms, 3980 10th Ave. N. and Kirk Road; RaceTrac, 3032 Lake Worth Road and Congress Avenue; Speedway, 3965 S. Congress Ave. and Lake Worth Road, 7-Eleven, 4774 Melaleuca Lane and Cumberland Farms, 4771 S. Military Trail and Melaleuca Lane.

Other stations selling $1.99 gas include Costco in Lantana, Royal Palm Beach and Boca Raton, and Citro, 2765 W. Forest Hill Blvd. and Prairie Road, suburban West Palm Beach.

December could bring more good news for motorists.

GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst Gregg Laskoski said pump prices generally fall in December.

“Over the past four years the average decline from Dec. 1 to Dec. 31 has been 15 cents per gallon and I’d have to think most of us would be pretty happy with that,” Laskoski said.

However, the outcome of an OPEC meeting scheduled for Wednesday in Vienna could impact gasoline prices.

The OPEC cartel has a plan to cut back oil production by 1 million barrels a day, Laskoski said. But it’s likely that Russia, the largest non-OPEC oil exporter, will only agree to a freeze and not a production cut of its own.

A global oversupply of oil and gasoline has kept prices low.

— Susan Salisbury, Protecting Your Pocket


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