MasterCard Advisors: Late Push Gives Holiday Sales A Boost

A late season surge gave holiday sales a boost and may have brightened the mood of many retailers.

On Monday, December 28, MasterCard Advisors reported that U.S. retail sales between Black Friday and Christmas Eve were up 7.9%. The figure excludes automobiles and gasoline. The biggest gains, according to MasterCard, were in furniture and women’s apparel, while sales in men’s apparel, electronics and luxury items such as jewelry were down.

Online continues to make gains with sales through e-commerce up 20%, according to MasterCard Advisors.

MasterCard draws its data from a variety of sources including credit card transactions and consumer surveys.

The holiday sales increase may indicate that consumer confidence is growing, said Sarah Quinlan, svp/market insights for MasterCard. She noted the increase in spending stems from the extra cash in consumers’ pockets as a result of lower gas prices.

A Bloomberg report, citing MasterCard figures, said that consumers spent 72 cents of each dollar saved from lower gas prices.