NEW YORK (1/5/16)—Boosted by strong online sales and demand for furniture and women's apparel U.S. retail sales increased by 7.9% this holiday season
For all of November and December, sales were up 4.6%-- a bit better than expected (Bloomberg Dec. 28).
Online sales increased by 20%.
The figures indicate that consumers are starting to feel more confident and buying big-ticket items such as new sofas, said Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president of market insights for MasterCard. They're also using extra cash gained from lower gas prices.
Consumers spent 72 cents of every dollar they saved from lower fuel costs, MasterCard found.
"This shows that consumers are feeling more confident that they are going to get that bonus or have a job a year from now," Quinlan said.