U.S. Holiday Retail Sales Grow 3.1%

U.S. retail sales rose 3.1% between November 1 and December 24, as shoppers looked for last-minute Christmas deals amid big promotions, a Mastercard report showed on Tuesday.

The increase is lower than the 3.7% growth Mastercard forecast in September and last year’s 7.6% rise as higher interest rates and inflation pressured consumer spending.

Ecommerce sales grew at the slower pace of 6.3% compared to last year’s 10.6% as the popularity of online shopping came off pandemic highs, the report showed.

Sales in the apparel and restaurant categories rose 2.4% and 7.8%, respectively, during the holiday shopping period, according to the Mastercard SpendingPulse report, while sales of electronics fell 0.4%.