Retail Holiday Sales Increase
Figures show U.S. year-end holiday retail sales rose 4.9 percent compared to the same period last year, making it the best holiday season sales since 2011 and a welcome gift to U.S. retailers amid new signs of consumer confidence.
Online retail shopping similarly increased 18.1 percent, while overall consumer buying during the holiday period set a new record for dollars spent, according to the sales report issued by Mastercard SpendingPulse.
“Overall, this year was a big win for retail,” Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president of Market Insights, Mastercard, said in a statement issued with the report. “The strong U.S. economy was a contributing factor, but we also have to recognize that retailers who tried new strategies to engage holiday shoppers were the beneficiaries of this sales increase.”
The findings were based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, along with survey based-estimates for other forms of payment, including cash and checks, Mastercard said. The data exclude auto sales.
The results delivered a financial boost to retailers during a year in which dozens of companies sought bankruptcy court protection as they sought to cope with shifting consumer tastes and a continuing shift to e-commerce transactions.