An unlikely culprit shows up to save the holidays for retailers

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala (WHNT) - After much hand-wringing over Black Friday sales creeping up on our beloved Thanksgiving, retailers didn't get all they expected.

David Berkowitz is now the Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, but he's also studied business for decades. He notes, "The Black Friday days were very weak relative to last year."

But he finishes, "It seems like the Christmas season itself has actually been pretty strong."

He says the bounce back actually comes from falling oil prices, "It's almost directly related to having more cash in our pockets, because we're paying so much less for gasoline."

Save more at one stop of your errands; spend more at another.

Berkowitz continues, "The consumer having more money in their pocket and therefore feeling they can purchase a few extra items for Christmas, maybe items that they missed in previous years."

Sometimes Christmas miracles come from unexpected places.

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