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Updated December 26th, 2023 at 19:03 IST

US retail sales grow 3.1% during holiday season: Mastercard report

While this marks a robust performance for retailers, it falls slightly short of Mastercard's earlier forecast of 3.7 per cent growth made in September.

Business Desk
US retail sales grow 3.1% during holiday season
US retail sales grow 3.1% during holiday season | Image:Unsplash
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The pulse of US retail sales during the holiday season, spanning from November 1 to December 24, reveals a 3.1 per cent growth, according to a Mastercard report. While this marks a robust performance for retailers, it falls slightly short of Mastercard's earlier forecast of 3.7 per cent growth made in September. The figure also represents a significant dip from the 7.6 per cent growth recorded during the same period last year, attributed to the impact of higher interest rates and inflation on consumer spending.

In the pursuit of last-minute Christmas deals amid substantial promotions, US shoppers turned to retail giants like Amazon.com and Walmart, both of which intensified their promotional efforts throughout November. However, analysts noted that these discounts did not match the depth of those offered in the previous year when retailers grappled with excess stock.

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In December, some of the discounts were rolled back, coinciding with the period when customers traditionally make last-minute purchases on "Super Saturday."

E-commerce sales, while still growing at a commendable 6.3 per cent, saw a slowdown from last year's 10.6 per cent. The report attributes this deceleration to the waning popularity of online shopping as it gradually retreats from pandemic-induced highs.

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Breaking down the sector-wise performance, sales in the apparel and restaurant categories experienced positive growth, rising by 2.4 per cent and 7.8 per cent, respectively, during the holiday shopping period. In contrast, sales of electronics saw a marginal decline of 0.4 per cent.

The Mastercard SpendingPulse report, encompassing both in-store and online retail sales across all payment forms, excludes automotive sales from its measurements. As the holiday season concludes, retailers will be closely monitoring these trends to glean insights into consumer behavior and plan for the upcoming year.

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(With Reuters inputs.)

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Published December 26th, 2023 at 19:03 IST

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