Holiday Shopping Increase Still Smaller Than Growth In Online Sales
Increased consumer spending comes at a time when interest rates from the Federal Reserve are low and the unemployment rate is at its lowest in fifty years.
The 3.4% increase in holiday sales is compared to consumer spending the year prior during the same period. Data was collected from a survey conducted by Mastercard Spending Pulse. The survey took into account spending between November 1st and December 24th.
The large increase in online shopping demonstrates the continuous trend of pivoting towards online shopping instead of purchasing goods from brick and mortar stores. The retail industry has been hard hit by this change in consumer spending habits. In 2019, the retail industry experienced over 9,000 store closings.
During this holiday season, department stores saw a 1.8% decrease in sales at department stores. Additionally, department stores have not been able to bolster their online sales to a great extent. Compared to the 2018 holiday season, department stores increased their online sales by 6.9%.
Increased consumer spending has helped with the steady growth of the economy. During the third quarter of this current year, the U.S. economy grew at a 2.1% rate.