Money Matters

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The recession has kept consumers at home and hit businesses hard. But, if you are ready to spend you can find some great deals.

Below are five kinds of stores that are discounting deeply according to Anna Maria Andriotis from www.smartmoney.com.

1) Car Dealers: Retail sales nationwide were $52.1 billion in March, down from $70.3 billion a year ago. Some car companies are trying to boost sales by allowing customers to return the car if they lose their jobs. Some are offering zero percent financing for new cars or other incentives. It's a good time to buy a car.

2) Home Furnishings: Retail sales were $7.7 billion in March, down from $8.8 billion a year ago. Home furnishings are in a slump because fewer people are buying homes. Some stores are offering steep discounts ranging from 50% to 70% off. "Pier 1" for example, has more than 1,000 items selling at up to 50% off.

3) Apparel: Retail sales went from $17.8 billion a year ago to $16.3 billion in March. Department stores have been hit especially hard. If stores are still full with summer inventory by early August, expect discounts of 25% and 50%.

4) Electronics: Retail sales fell from $8.7 billion a year ago to $7.8 billion in March. Despite Circuit City going under, there is still competition among national chains like Best Buy and on line retailers like Amazon, Dell and Apple.

5) Restaurants: Sales fell from $15.69 billion a year ago to $15.63 billion in March. More consumers are hitting fast food restaurants or cooking at home. Consequently a number of restaurants are lowering their prices or offering specials.

If you're not afraid to spend some money there are some great deals out there and you'll be helping the recovery.


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