Debauchery in consumer spending for the holidays

Between November 1 and December 24, U.S. consumers spent lavishly on the holidays, with purchases up 8.5% from last year, according to the Mastercard SpendingPulse study released on Sunday.

Driven by a new jump in online sales (+ 11%) but also thanks to a physical return to stores (+ 8.1%), this is the largest increase in 17 years for this barometer of consumption (excluding automobile).

Jewelry, clothing and electronics

“Consumers have been splurging throughout the season,” summed up Steve Sadove, senior advisor to Mastercard and former CEO of upscale clothing chain Saks Fifth Avenue. « Clothing stores and department stores have experienced strong growth, consumers wanted to look good, » he said in a statement.

Shortly before the spread of the Omicron variant in the United States, which again cast a shadow over the health of economic activity, Americans scrambled for clothing (+ 47.3% in sales year-on-year at the same time), but also on jewelry (+ 32%) and in department stores (+ 21.2%). In preference to electronic products, whose sales growth remained solid (+ 16.2%).

Purchases earlier

“It was a season of rebirth for retailers as consumers filled their shopping carts with gifts and gadgets,” said Mastercard.

The study also shows that American households made their purchases earlier: « They were eager to secure their gifts (…) with all that is being said about labor and supply chain issues » , said Steve Sadove. Black Friday, and its November 26 sales just after Thanksgiving, « was once again the day we spent the most for the 2021 holiday season, » says Mastercard.

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