Mastercard SpendingPulse has reported that US retail sales, excluding automotive, increased 7.6% year-over-year from November 1 through December 24. This growth was driven, in part, by a 10.6% increase in online sales compared to the same period the previous year, with e-commerce making up 21.6% of total retail sales. Black Friday remained the top spending day of the holiday season, with a 12% increase in sales year-over-year, followed by Saturdays in December. In addition, the demand for experiences led to strong growth in the restaurant industry, with in-person dining up 15.1% year-over-year. Despite rising prices and economic pressures, consumers and retailers demonstrated resilience in their holiday shopping habits.
Mastercard SpendingPulse is a service that tracks and reports on national retail sales across various payment types in select markets around the world. The data for the report is based on aggregate sales activity within the Mastercard payment network, as well as survey-based estimates for other payment forms such as cash and check. Mastercard SpendingPulse defines “US retail sales” as sales at retailers and food services merchants of all sizes, but excludes sales activity within the services sector, such as travel services like airlines and lodging. The findings of the report are preliminary and provide insight into the state of the retail industry during the holiday season.