With the holiday season coming to a close, U.S retail sales numbers showed improvement from 2008. MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse– a macroeconomic indicator that estimates U.S retail sales, reported that retail sales increased 3.6 percent between Black Friday” and December 24th.
One of the biggest jumps in retail spending this holiday was seen in e-commerce. According to both SpendingPulse and internet marketing research company comScore, internet sales jumped 15.5 percent. This accounted for 10 percent of all retail sales. The significant increase was likely due in part to the snow storm that hit the East Coast the weekend before Christmas. Independent consumer research firm America’s Research Group, reported that 22 percent of consumers did not finish their Christmas shopping this year due to fewer discounts as well the storm.
Many noted that while the increase is sales from last year is good sign, it did not take much to beat the 2008 numbers. “Last year was more of a free fall, while this year is more about stability,” said Michael McNamara, vice president of research and analysis for MasterCard Advisors. In 2008 sales decreased 2.3 percent. Additionally, in the days after Christmas, typically big shopping days, stores were filled with many people exchanging presents for everyday essentials.
A better picture of 2009 will be revealed once the major chain stores report December sales figures on January 7th.