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Impressive Season for Retail

US retail sales have increased this holiday season, as an improving job market has spurred consumer confidence, writes Rapaport.

Sales across all retail categories grew 6.3% year on year in November, the US Census Bureau reported. Sales in retail and food services rose 5.8% to $492.7 billion for the month, with the federal agency also revising its October result upward.

“This has been an impressive start to the holiday season, perhaps the best in the last few years,” said Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist at the National Retail Federation (NRF). “The combination of job and wage gains, modest inflation and a healthy balance sheet, along with elevated consumer confidence, has led to solid holiday spending by American households.”

Mastercard SpendingPulse reported a 3.6% rise in US retail holiday sales for November 1 to December 9, the data provider says.

“It’s easy to see that 2017 will likely be a good year for retailers,” said Sarah Quinlan, Mastercard’s senior vice president of market insights. “Unemployment is at 4.1%, wages are rising, consumers are confident. It is all playing out in the shopping picture this holiday season, as retailers and gift recipients would want it to.”

Sales at specialist jewelers increased 5.8% to $24.89 billion in the first 10 months of the year, according to Rapaport press release.

Source: Rapaport