Christmas sales best in six years
Sales during the holiday shopping season rose 5.1 percent, to over $850 billion, in 2018, the strongest in the past six years, according to a Mastercard report, as shoppers were encouraged by a robust economy and early discounts.The economy is stronger than many in the media have been willing to admit. Some on the left are happy to see the decline in the stock market, in hopes that it will hurt Trump who appears to be buoyed by the growth in the economy and the jobs market. The economies that have the most trouble are the foreign ones who have not embraced the growth programs Trump and the Republicans used to grow that of the US.
The data includes in-store and online sales between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24. The National Retail Federation had forecast US holiday retail sales to rise between 4.3 percent and 4.8 percent in November and December.
“From shopping aisles to online carts, consumer confidence translated into holiday cheer for retail,” said Steve Sadove, senior adviser for Mastercard.
Near full employment and rising wages have boosted consumer spending, which in October hit its highest in nearly two decades.
The data also indicated that consumer confidence was not dented by recent volatility in the stock markets and worries over slowing global growth.
With Christmas Eve falling on a Monday this year, customers got an extra day for shopping.
Not surprisingly, online sales posted strong gains, rising 19.1 percent, according to the SpendingPulse retail report, published by Mastercard’s analytics arm.