National Holiday Sales Spike

January 1, 2010

Recent information from MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse estimates indicate that retail sales increased an impressive 3.6 percent, based on MasterCard payments, including estimates for both cash and checks.

This holiday season was considered by many economists to be a critical make-or-break period for many retailers that have been fighting to keep their heads above water through the recession.

It’s no surprise that online purchases accounted for much of the difference, having grown about 15.5 percent. Since last year, women’s apparel and luxury spending went up a bit. That’s pretty reassuring considering that last year’s holiday season spending was the worst it had been since the 60’s.

As for Hawaii holiday shopping, results were mixed but most shopping centers saw a surge before Christmas and especially the day before.

According to a Reuters report, holiday sales account for 25-40 percent of annual revenue for retailers. That’s a real eye-opener. The fact that a holiday can influence consumer spending to such an extreme degree is kind of amazing when you think about it.

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