A downside to the housing boom, stockpiled cash and virtual Black Friday deals

Black Friday DoorBusters: Only half as many people visited stores on Black Friday as they did last year, as many U.S. shoppers went online to purchase holiday gifts. In the second biggest online-sales day on record after Cyber Monday 2019, spending jumped 22% despite shutdowns tied to COVID19, reports The Wall Street Journal. Many stores offered online deals that were once only available in-store or ran Black Friday specials all week.

Stores also reported an overall fall in foot traffic on Black Friday. Individuals who did venture out to shop made fewer stops on average, preferring big-box chains like Walmart and Target to department or specialty stores.

Money in the mattress: The Bank of England has had to increase the production of banknotes for the next 11 months to ensure the UK does not run out of physical money. The Times reports that while the amount of cash being withdrawn from ATMs has fallen by as much as £2.9m per day, and contactless card payments have reached record levels, the amount of cash in circulation has also increased. Many inside the bank believe the public to have stockpiled close to £8bn in cash and coins, but others believe it could be possible that the money is sitting with businesses unable to deposit their takings at banks because of long lines and restricted hours.

Housing boom downside: Housing sales in the U.S. hit their highest level since 2006 as many housing markets around the world have managed to evade colossal economic slump with help from low interest rates. Simultaneously, China’s residential real estate investment was up 14% over the same time last year. Strong real estate investments helped boost economic activity despite the pandemic’s effect on many other industries. But The Wall Street Journal warns of a downside to housing booms, and how they can be a longer-term risk to financial stability and market productivity.

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