Holiday shopping season is here, at least according to retailers

Summer has barely ended, but the holiday shopping season is upon us.

Amazon, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Best Buy and other big retailers are kicking off big sales events as consumers continue to move up their holiday timetables. Many are trying to spread their spending in the face of persistently high prices, record credit card balances and the resumption of student loan payments.

“Retailers, understanding their consumer and understanding their fixed budgets, are trying to get a bite out of that holiday shopping sooner rather than later and maybe get little bites over a longer period of time,” said Natalie Kotlyar, a retail analyst at BDO.

Industry experts are offering mixed messages about what to expect this holiday season. Though consumer spending has proved resilient and inflation has eased significantly from last summer’s peak of 9.1%, federal data shows Americans are still forgoing discretionary categories to afford gas, groceries and

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