Tech firm: Thanksgiving-Black Friday sales rose 11.9 percent

People wait in line for a Best Buy store to open for a Black Friday sale on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, in Overland Park, Kan. Shoppers are hitting the stores on Thanksgiving as retailers under pressure look for ways to poach shoppers from their rivals. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

NEW YORK (AP) – Despite holiday deals all month, shoppers still picked up their spending on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, according to one technology company.

Spending for Thursday and Friday together increased 11.9 percent compared with the same two-day period last year, says First Data, which analyzed online and in-store payments across different forms of cards from 1.3 million merchants. Retail spending, which excludes grocery stores, restaurants, auto parts merchants and gas stations, rose 9.3 percent.

First Data says the buying was helped by higher consumer confidence, low unemployment and cooler weather. It said hurricane cleanup-related spending may also have had an effect. Texas, pummeled by Hurricane Harvey in August, had the second-highest percentage increase in sales, a rise of 13.4 percent that was fueled by electronics and furniture.

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