Black Friday: Holiday spending predictions call for a happy one

Black Friday shoppers
Black Friday shoppers

Don't break out the champagne yet, but top retail analysts are forecasting a fourth-quarter sales boom, perhaps also signaling an upturn in the economy.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts sales growth of 2.3% for November and December starting on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, when a retailer's bottom line hopefully turns from red to black. An even more optimistic forecast was issued by Kantar Retail, a major retail consulting firm, which predicted a 2.5% increase in fourth-quarter sales.