– This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on November 24, Thursday.
Welcome to CNBC Business Daily, I'm Qian Chen.
American consumers plan to spend an average $935.58 during the holiday shopping season this year, according to NRF's survey conducted by Prosper Insights. Nearly six in 10 plan to buy for themselves, spending an average $139.61, up 4 percent from last year.
With the election behind them, consumers are eager to see the deals retailers will offer for the biggest shopping weekend of the year, with 59 percent of Americans - an estimated 137.4 million people - planning to or considering shopping during Thanksgiving weekend, according to the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
The survey found that 21 percent of weekend shoppers plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day, nearly the same as last year's 22 percent. But Black Friday will remain the busiest day of the holiday weekend with 74 percent planning to shop that day, the same as in 2015. A substantial 47 percent are expected to shop on Saturday; of those shoppers, 24 percent say they will be doing so specifically to support Small Business Saturday, up from 22 percent last year. On Sunday, 24 percent expect to shop.
Now, this Black Friday, as many call it, might be the new "Cyber Monday".
For example, Wal-Mart is going digital.
The world's largest retailer said Thursday that its website will kick off its online Black Friday sale three hours earlier than last year, at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Thanksgiving Day. That's hours before its in-store doorbuster deals begin at 6 p.m. that evening.
This is just the second year that Wal-Mart has offered the majority of its Black Friday promotions online, as consumers are increasingly dividing their budgets between stores and the web. To help accommodate this elongated shopping window, Wal-Mart has ramped up the amount of merchandise dedicated to filling online orders by 50 percent.
The National Retail Federation announced today it expects sales in November and December, excluding autos, gas and restaurant sales, to increase a solid 3.6 percent to $655.8 billion.
CNBC Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore.