Friday, December 2, 2022

Does Black Friday affect the Dominican economy in November?

As the newest expression of transculturation of commercial origin in the Dominican Republic, the mass consumption that occurs on the so-called Black Friday is increasing, so much so that even special offers by the commercial sector are announced everywhere for an entire week before Black Friday, in order to receive the money from the double salary in advance or from a card with deferred payment by the cardholder, in the absence of liquidity at the time of the aforementioned celebration.

For their part, citizens with the capacity to have money saved decide to postpone purchases while waiting for special prices or simply get into the buying trend, induced by others buying, going to the commercial premises or sitting in front of their computer to carry out electronic purchases, acquiring household items and clothing, in order to satisfy unsatisfied needs, whims, which sometimes only seek demonstration effects or psychological income, as part of the consumption trend that occurs for the occasion of Black Friday.

All this happens in an environment in which in the country we have not been able to create a celebration that promotes consumption based on national facts, even if it is covered up with some important event. It has not occurred to the business sector to promote an anthropological, sociological, historical study that seeks to identify a feat, event, event, that can be used for the dual purpose of commemorating and promoting commercial activity for the benefit of all. As, for example, a day without ITBIS or a day of discount with shared profit for consumers and businessmen, on the occasion of Independence, the day of the birth of Juan Pablo Duarte or the Restoration.

Although it took time for the commercial tradition of Black Friday to reach the Dominican Republic, despite the fact that since the 1950s and with more force in 1966 it has been celebrated in the United States, but with much greater impetus since 1975 in that country, in ours its celebration is already a reality, since, in 2011, merchants began to promote it, becoming today one of the most anticipated days of the year by merchants and consumers.

Dominican Black Friday occurs with and without a pandemic and the economy shows a performance that does not allow us to appreciate a pattern of behavior for that occasion, an assertion that may be due to the fact that the data required for its more specific examination are not published with the necessary detail, per day, by type of business, location, for purchases in cash or for payment instruments, such as credit and debit cards, checks, bank transfers or electronic commerce.

In any case, as a way of getting closer to having an idea of ​​the behavior of key variables of the economy in the month that is celebrated on Black Friday, corresponding to the last Friday of November, the table shows the performance of six variables during the last six years that have elapsed before, during and after the covid-19 pandemic in the country.

In economics, the main basis of demand is the need, then liquidity and the expectations of receiving monetary income in the short term from consumers, hence the M1 -monetary variable-, made up of bills and coins in the hands of the public and transferable deposits, shows an irregular behavior in the Dominican economy, at least in the last six years, resulting in an indication that it does not present a behavioral pattern with the possibility of being predictive.

The monetary liquidity held by the holders of the money, measured by the M1 for November of each year -the month in which Black Friday is celebrated-, has ups and downs, both in normal times, as well as during the pandemic and then in the reopening of the economy, which may be an expression that the aforementioned variable is not moved by Black Friday.

The same happens to the means of payment liquidated in November of each year -month of Black Friday-, such as checks, debit and credit cards. Its behavior is completely irregular, observing growth and decrease regardless of whether the economy shows expansion, contraction or moderate increase, at least during the years of the series that goes from 2016 to 2021.

With a similar performance, the exchange rate of the peso is shown in relation to the US dollar, producing appreciation and depreciation during the month of November of the selected years, indicative that the commercial dynamics do not influence as a pattern of behavior of the currency price. in the Dominican exchange market. The evidence shown also allows us to anticipate that the so-called Black Friday does not affect the exchange rate, as a pattern that allows us to predict the price of the US dollar.

For its part, the Monthly Indicator of Economic Activity (IMAE) for November of each year, with the exception of 2020, in which the commercial and productive dynamics were interrupted to help combat covid-19, shows sustained growth, higher than the estimated potential of the economy, which is 5.0%, evidence that at least allows us not to rule out the neutral effect that Black Friday may have.

Regarding the behavior of consumer prices in the Dominican economy, its performance is of a zigzag type, demonstrating that the activity of Black Friday does not impregnate any type of incidence to move prices in one direction or another. The interannual inflation rate for November in the historical series from 2016 to 2021 presents increases, decreases or loss of intensity in the movement of consumer prices, denoting the absence of a pattern.

Regarding the demand in the Dominican economy, the record for November of each year indicates an irregular movement of increases and decreases, although always positive, showing that it does not allow us to affirm that Black Friday always makes demand in the market tilt upwards. national.

The reader has been able to appreciate that the six variables selected for the six indicated years do not show a direct and consistent association between the celebration of Black Friday and the Dominican economy in November. This opinion does not rule out the possibility that, if a more specific analysis is carried out, referring to the behavior of the aforementioned variables and others, registered for a shorter time, such as the week or on the same day as Black Friday, another type of finding may result. , which does not necessarily coincide with that found in this opinion.

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