U.S. Retail Holiday Sales Jumped 4.9%

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According to Mastercard’s SpendingPulse Report, U.S. retail holiday sales jumped 4.9% in 2017, which is the largest year-over-year gain since 2011. Mastercard’s SpendingPulse Report tracked sales activity across all payment types from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24.

“Overall, this year was a big win for retail,” Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president of Market Insights, Mastercard, said in a statement. “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.”

According to the report, online retail shopping rose 18.1%, at the same time, overall consumer buying during holidays created a record for dollars spent.

Additionally, sales of electronics and appliances was up 7.5%, which is the strongest increase in the past 10 years. Sales of home furniture and furnishings rose 5.1%, separately. Jewelry sales also increased 5.9%, which was mainly boosted by last-minute sales.

“This holiday season’s big winners — in addition to consumers — were retailers of all shapes and sizes across all segments,” said Matthew Shay, the president and chief executive of the National Retail Federation. “From online and luxury retailers to department and discount stores, from Main Street to mega stores and everything in between, traffic and sales were generally up.”

In October, National Retail Federation had forecasted holiday retail sales to rose between 3.6% and 4% for a total of $678.75 billion to $682 billion. This week, Matthew said that the industry group's final data due in early January would be in line with or surpass estimates.

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