The National Retail Federation is reporting that holiday season retail sales increased 4% over 2015 to $658.3 billion, as a strengthening economy encouraged consumers to spend more than the organization expected.
The total for the November/December timeframe included $122.9 billion in non-store sales, including e-commerce revenues, up 12.6% over the year-prior period, NRF stated.
Overall, holiday sales exceeded NRF’s forecast of $655.8 billion, the organization noted, which would have represented a 3.6% advance. NRF had forecast that online sales would grow between 7% and 10% to a high of $117 billion.
“These numbers show that the nation’s slow-but-steady economic recovery is picking up speed and that consumers feel good about the future,” said Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO. “Retail mirrors the economy. And while there might have been some bumps in the road for individual companies, the retail industry overall had a solid holiday season and retailers will work to sustain this in the year ahead.”