U.S. consumers have spent lavishly on the holiday season: Retail sales jumped 8.5% between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 from a year ago, according to the MasterCard SpendingPulse study released on Sunday. This is the strongest increase in 17 years for this barometer of consumer spending (excluding cars), driven by a new jump in online sales (+ 11%) but also thanks to a physical return to stores (+8, 1%).
«Consumers have been splurging throughout the seasonSummed up Steve Sadove, senior advisor to MasterCard and former CEO of upscale clothing chain Saks Fifth Avenue. “Clothing stores and department stores experienced strong growth, consumers wanted to dress up“, He underlined in a press release.
Clothing, jewelry and department stores
Shortly before the spread of the Omicron variant in the United States, which again cast a shadow over the health of economic activity, Americans rushed to clothing (+ 47.3% in sales over the year at the same time), but also on jewelry (+ 32%) and in department stores (+ 21.2%). In preference to electronic products, whose sales growth remained solid (+ 16.2%). “It has been a season of rebirth for retailers as consumers fill their shopping carts with gifts and gadgets“, Welcomes MasterCard again.
The study also shows that American households made their purchases earlier: “they were eager to secure their giveaways (…) with all the talk about labor and supply chain issues“Said Steve Sadove. Black Friday, and its November 26 sales just after Thanksgiving, “was once again the most spent day for the 2021 holiday season», Specifies MasterCard.