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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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December 3rd, 2013
07:13 PM ET

Economist on why Black Friday is turning into 'Red Friday'

Cyber Monday sales hit record highs this year. At least one online shopping research group says sales were up nearly 20 percent. Meanwhile, despite the fact that many big box retailers opened stores earlier than last year, Black Friday spending dipped 13 percent.

One reason for the disparity is that Cyber Monday deals are getting better, says Diane Swonk, chief economist and senior managing director of Mezero Financial.

"We're seeing much more of the kinds of promotions you saw in stores on Black Friday, which I think has become 'Red Friday,' because they sell almost at a loss now," said Swonk.

"We call it Cyber Monday because people used to come into work because they had faster internet service," said Swonk. "Now people have it on smartphones, tablets, they get access to the internet almost anywhere."

Online shoppers are also enticed with free shipping, pretty much standard this holiday season, and short-term sales.

"It really is a sign of people seeking out the best deals as well," said Swonk.

For more of our interview with economist Diane Swonk, watch the video above.

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