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Target predicts a weak 2024 as shoppers focus on necessities

New York CNN  —  Target, a barometer of the American consumer, is predicting a sluggish 2024. Target said Tuesday that it expects its sales to decline by up to 5% during the first quarter of the year. For the full year, Target projects sales to grow by up to 2%. The company’s business has slowed since a pandemic surge in 2020 and 2021. Target’s core middle-class customer base has been strained by higher prices and pulled back on discretionary goods, such as home decor and non-essential clothing. Nevertheless, the company exceeded sales expectations for the holiday season, and Target’s (TGT) stock surged 8% higher Tuesday in premarket trading.