Finally some good news as we get close to leaving 2009. Holiday sales were up 3.6% over last year, with a lot of those sales coming through online purchases. There was a major surge in purchases from Black Friday through December 24th, over 18% higher than last year, and it seems that after the holiday sales were pretty good as well, which seems to have been blessed by the fact that the day after Christmas was a Saturday.

The downside to this is that it was still lower than 2007 sales, but retailers will take what they can get. As opposed to last year when sales were so bad, down 2.3%, that we saw the closing of many retail stores, this year most were buoyed, especially stores that were selling electronics. That was actually what boosted online sales, as online retailers were able to offer deals and rebates that most stores couldn’t.

Overall, though there are no true numbers, it seems that malls across the country were stating that there were more shoppers out there as well. The movie industry certainly can attest to that; even my wife tried to go to a movie that was totally sold out. And stocks opened well on Monday because of the positive holiday news; seems the wealth was spreading.

And no banks closed last week; let’s see if that trend holds up as well.