Mastercard SpendingPulse: U.S. retail sales grew +3.1%* this holiday seasonDecember 26, 2023 | Purchase, NY
According to preliminary insights from Mastercard SpendingPulseTM, U.S. retail sales excluding automotive increased +3.1% year over year this holiday season, running from November 1 through December 24. Mastercard SpendingPulse measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment and is not adjusted for inflation.
“This holiday season, the consumer showed up, spending in a deliberate manner” said Michelle Meyer, chief economist, Mastercard Economics Institute. “The economic backdrop remains favorable with healthy job creation and easing inflation pressures, empowering consumers to seek the goods and experiences they value most.”
Key retail trends this holiday season included:
- Shopping extravaganzas in-store and online: Online retail sales increased +6.3% year over year while in-store sales were up a more modest +2.2% year over year. Spending online is increasing at a faster pace than in-store, therefore taking a growing slice of the retail pie, but shopping in-store still makes up a considerably larger portion of total retail spending.
- Winter wardrobe wonderland: Apparel was one of the top categories for shoppers this season as consumers shopped for new outfits and upcoming holiday festivities. The sector was up +2.4% YOY.
- Season’s eatings: Culinary celebrations continued as family and friends gathered in restaurants to ring in the holidays. The Restaurant sector was up +7.8% year over year, while Grocery was up +2.1% for the season.
“Retailers started promotions early this season, giving consumers time to hunt for the best deals and promotions,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and chairman of Saks Incorporated. “Ultimately it was about getting the most bang for your buck as consumers spent on a variety of goods and services, resurfacing spending trends from before the pandemic.”
About Mastercard SpendingPulse
Mastercard SpendingPulse reports on national retail sales across all payment types in select markets around the world. The findings are based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other payment forms, such as cash and check.
Mastercard SpendingPulse defines “U.S. retail sales” as sales at retailers and food services merchants of all sizes. Sales activity within the services sector (for example, travel services such as airlines and lodging) are not included in the total retail sales figure. SpendingPulse insights are not indicative of Mastercard company performance; insights and forecast are subject to change.
About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)
Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.