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Published Nov. 20, 2012

Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary laments Black Friday morphing into Black Thursday. "I have also tried to persuade people not to shop on Thanksgiving Day. ... My advocacy was a lost cause. It's pointless when our economy thrives on consumer spending. And some folks don't mind working on Thanksgiving because they're grateful to have a job and earn the extra pay. I hope you know that you don't really need to rush out on Thanksgiving or the following day as if it is the only time to get the best deals. Last year, Consumer Reports and ... found in an analysis that despite the hype, Black Friday wasn't necessarily the best time to get the lowest prices. More than a quarter of the recommended TVs and cameras were at least 5 percent cheaper'' later in the holiday season.

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WINNER: Pinellas tourism

Bed tax collections totaled $28.7 million in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, an all-time record and 9 percent higher than the previous best year.

LOSER: Tampa Bay homeowners

Foreclosure rates and indebtedness here remain far higher than in most other parts of the nation.

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Looking ahead: Existing home sales figures will be updated on Monday, housing starts on Tuesday.