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In This Issue
Celebrating Black History Month
The Gift of Love
We Went Shopping

Issue: #461

February 6, 2017  

About the CIC:

The Census Information Center of Eastern Oklahoma provides access to data generated from the US Census Bureau and through the Community Service Council's Data and Systems Development Task Forces. 

National African American Month    

To commemorate and celebrate the contributions to our nation made by people of African descent, American historian Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week. The first celebration occurred on Feb. 12, 1926. For many years, the second week of February was set aside for this celebration to coincide with the birthdays of abolitionist/editor Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, as part of the nation's bicentennial, the week was expanded to a month. Since then, U.S. presidents have proclaimed February as National African-American History Month.

Valentine's Day, 2017   

Expressing one's affection to another is a celebrated custom on Valentine's Day. Sweethearts and family members present gifts to one another, such as cards, candy, flowers and other symbols of affection. Opinions differ as to who was the original Valentine, but the most popular theory is that he was a clergyman who was executed for secretly marrying couples in ancient Rome. In A.D. 496, Pope Gelasius I declared Feb. 14 as Valentine's Day. Esther Howland, a native of Massachusetts, is given credit for selling the first mass-produced Valentine's Day cards in the 1840s. The custom continues today with even young children exchanging Valentine's Day cards with their fellow classmates.

Continue reading
Holiday Spending UP 4%    

Holiday spending for total retail and food services sales, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences but not including  price changes, for November and December 2016 was $935.3 billion - up 4.0 percent from the same two months in 2015 ($899.2 billion) according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The comparable growth rate for the holiday seasons from 2014 to 2015 was 2.2 percent. Excluding the gasoline stations component, total retail and food services sales for the 2016 holiday season were up 3.9 percent, which was not statistically different from the 2014 to 2015 increase of 4.2 percent.

Drilling further, holiday spending in nonstore retailers jumped 12.8 percent. At the same time, however, holiday spending in general merchandise stores declined 2.1 percent in November and December of 2016, following a 0.9 percent growth rate the year before.


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Until Next Week,
Jan Figart 
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