Holiday Retail Sales Rise 3.5%, Falling Short of Projections

Holiday retail sales estimates are still being tallied, but early projections from MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse indicated that U.S. retail sales rose 3.5 percent, slightly missing projections of a 3.9 percent increase. Last year also saw a 3.5 percent sales growth, making this year's figure flat to 2012.

Deep discounts at malls, strong online spending and increased purchases of children's apparel and jewelry all contributed to this year's boost in holiday sales. Sales of holiday-related categories such as clothing, electronics and luxury goods rose 2.3 percent from Nov. 1 through Dec. 24 compared with 2012. According to comScore, online sales in the period between November 2 and December 23 grew 10 percent compared with a year earlier, but were short of the data firm's expectations.

The rise is good news for retailers considering U.S. store visits plummeted 21 percent and retail sales dropped 3.1 percent in the week before Christmas according to a separate study conducted by ShopperTrak.

SpendingPulse tracks total U.S. sales at stores and online via all payment forms.

For more see:
-This Reuters article
-This Bloomberg article

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