It’s Black Friday and you know what that means: Lots of promotional sales and lots of holiday retail spending forecasts. You can rely on the latter being ubiquitous and wrong; some by a little, most by a lot.

At least, that’s what the statistically likely outcome is.

As we have seen historically, holiday sales forecasts tend to be a reflection of people’s mood at the moment — not an actual measure of intended holiday spending. They are typically wrong by substantial amounts.

I’ve been tracking this nonsense for nearly two decades and it’s been shockingly consistent. Rather than bore you with (yet another) analysis of why the forecasts always seem to get it wrong, you can check out our collection of pre-pandemic Black Friday #Fails and run through the history yourself.

The annual NRF foolishness is out:

“NRF forecast earlier this month that holiday sales during November and December

Keep reading this article on Barry Ritholtz - The Big Picture.

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