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Greatest Imports

At the end of an improving, if mediocre, year for retailers, consumers are so far spending more for the holidays. After Black Friday sales jumped by what ShopperTrak reports to be a 6.6 percent year-on-year increase, to $11.4 billion, Cyber Monday sales increased 22 percent, to $1.3 billion, ComScore says. “How Americans will react to shaky economic data is the question, but the good news for retailers is that shoppers have not yet thrown in the towel,” said National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz in a report. So what are the hot items this year? Rather than seek suggestions from retailers, asked Panjiva, a trade-data firm that tracks waterborne shipments, to identify the most-shipped holiday products from August through October, the period when most shipments arrive at U.S. ports for the year-end shopping season. Based on data from U.S. Customs Bill of Lading forms for 75 popular gift items during that period, U.S. retailers expect the most demand for toys, clothing, and electronics accessories, according to Panjiva. Shipments of Barbie, Hot Wheels, and Legos predominated, along with grownup products such as champagne and memory foam bedding.

Click here to see the top holiday imports in 2011, based on the number of shipments.

Photographer: Stan Honda/Getty Images

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