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The immorality of US consumer spending for holidays

The immorality of US consumer spending for holidays

US consumers have been spending lavishly for the holidays: Retail sales rose 8.5% between November 1 and December 24 compared to a year ago, according to a Mastercard SpendingPulse study released Sunday.

• Read also: December 26 is quiet in the shops

This is the largest increase in 17 years for this measure of consumer spending (excluding cars), driven by a new jump in online sales (+11%), but also thanks to the physical return of stores (+8, 1%).

“Consumers have been splurge all season,” summed up Steve Sadoff, senior advisor to Mastercard and former CEO of high-end clothing chain Saks Fifth Avenue.

“Apparel stores and department stores experienced strong growth, and consumers wanted to dress up,” he said in a statement.

Shortly before the spread of the Omicron variant in the United States, which once again overshadowed the health of economic activity, Americans rushed to clothing (+47.3% in sales throughout the year at the same time), but also to jewelry (+ 32%) and in stores Major (+21.2%). Preferring electronic products whose sales growth remained strong (+16.2%).

“It was a season of rebirth for retailers as consumers filled their shopping carts with gifts and gadgets,” Mastercard said.

The study also shows that American households made their purchases earlier: “They were anxious to secure their gifts (…) with all that being said of labor and supply chain problems,” said Steve Sadoff.

Black Friday and its sales on November 26, right after Thanksgiving, “was again the day we had the most of the 2021 holiday season,” says MasterCard.