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Last Update on November 27, 2015 08:32 GMT


UNDATED (AP) --The Super Bowl of shopping has had an early start again this year, but most of the action is expected today.

Early numbers aren't out yet on how many shoppers headed to stores on Thanksgiving, but it's estimated that more than three times the number of people will venture out to shop on the day after the holiday known as Black Friday.

Overall, the National Retail Federation expected about 30 million to shop on Thanksgiving, compared with 99.7 million on Black Friday. A total of about 135.8 million people will be shopping during the full four-day weekend, compared with 133.7 million last year. And the retail association expects sales overall for November and December to rise 3.7 percent to $630.5 billion compared with the same period last year.

But people may not be in the mood to shop much this year. Unemployment has settled into a healthy 5 percent rate, but shoppers still grapple with stagnant wages that are not keeping pace with rising daily costs like rent. And years later, they still insist on the deep discounts they got used to retailers offering during the recession.


Japan's jobless rate at 20-year low; consumer spending drops

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's jobless rate fell to a 20-year low in October, but consumer spending and incomes also edged lower as the tight labor market failed to spur significant increases in wages.

The government reported Friday that unemployment in the world's No. 3 economy dipped to 3.1 percent in October, compared with a rate of 3.4 percent in September.

Consumer spending, meanwhile, fell 2.4 percent from the same month a year earlier, while average incomes fell 0.9 percent.

Japan's inflation rate also was lower in October, with core inflation excluding volatile food prices down 0.1 percent for the third month in a row.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for a 3 percent increase in the minimum wage to accelerate inflation by raising consumer demand through higher incomes.


MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia plans to retaliate against Turkey for the downing of a warplane by imposing sanctions, cutting economic ties and scrapping major investment projects.

Since the plane was shot down Tuesday in disputed circumstances on the Syria-Turkey border, Russia has restricted tourism, left Turkish trucks stranded at the border and announced the confiscation of large quantities of Turkish food imports.

On Thursday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (dih-MEE'-tree med-VYEH'-dyev) ordered his government to draft sanctions against Turkey within the next two days.

The sanctions are to include restrictions on deliveries of food and other products as well as labor and services.

Russia is the largest destination for Turkey's exports, and the two countries are bound by plans for a new gas pipeline and strong trade in food and tourism.

Overall, the nosedive in relations threatens billions of dollars of international trade.


WASHINGTON (AP) -- A weaker global economy -- and a slowdown in China -- will likely dampen some of the growth in air travel over the next two decades.

The International Air Transport Association says the number of airline passengers is expected to double to 7 billion by 2034. That figure marks a decrease from a prior forecast of passengers totaling 7.4 billion in 2034, reflecting lower economic growth in China that will likely reduce demand for travel and potentially limit airplane orders for manufacturers Boeing and Airbus.

Despite the lower forecast, China is expected to add 758 million new passengers for a total of 1.2 billion flyers. Those gains would likely mean that China surpasses the United States as the world's largest passenger market by 2029.

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