Early Report Shows 5.1% Holiday Sales Growth

Holiday sales saw their strongest growth in six years this season, increasing 5.1% to more than $850 billion, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse. Online shopping achieved particularly large gains, with sales soaring 19.1% compared to 2017.

Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracked shopping habits from Nov. 1 through Dec. 24, reported a bright season for retail overall, although some categories were more successful than others:

  • Total apparel sales grew 7.9% compared to 2017, the highest rate of increase since 2010, thanks to sustained momentum that started during back-to-school;
  • Home improvement spending grew 9%, also continuing a trend that started…