Black Friday retail sales edge up slightly

NEW YORK (AP) - Bargain hunters crowded stores on Black Friday, but judging by the latest data, they spent only slightly more than last year.

According to the research firm ShopperTrak, retail spending rose 0.3 percent, to nearly $10.7 billion, on the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. The slim sales increase came despite a 2.2 percent boost in store traffic.

Two factors limiting the increase were heavy discounts earlier in November and online shopping, which saw a big rise.  ShopperTrak says the total was still a record for the day. And it stands behind its prediction for spending to rise 3.2 percent for the season.

The Web research company Coremetrics says online merchants saw a 16 percent revenue spike on Black Friday.  Meanwhile, PayPal reports an increase of about 27 percent in payment volume compared with last year.

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