Photo by cohdra via MorguefileUS shoppers hungry for Black Friday deals came out in droves, spending at record levels.

“We were expecting Black Friday openings to be very strong, (but no one) expected that they were going to be this strong,” a National Retail Federation analyst told ABC.

Several days later, online sales during “Cyber Monday” broke another record reaching $1.25 billion in one day, up 22 percent over last year, according to one monitoring group. Another group measured the increase at 33 percent compared with Cyber Monday in 2010.

This is welcome news for the nation’s overall economy and for Wall Street, where stocks soared to start the week.

226 million people shopped from Thursday to Sunday pumping $52 billion into the coffers of retailers — an increase of 14 million shoppers over last year. The average amount spent also increased by about ten percent to almost $400 per shopper.

One interesting note: 44% of those shoppers surveyed said they were buying for themselves over the weekend. The rest of the gifts have yet to be purchased.

(READ the story from ABC News)

Photo by cohdra via Morguefile

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