Retail Spending In Nov., Dec. Strongest In Five Years

Retail spending in the months of November and December came in at the strongest level in five years.

According to Visa’s Retail Spending Monitor, which monitors spending on the part of U.S. consumers that use Visa payment products, retail sales increased 4.8 percent during the holiday season when compared to the holiday season in 2015.

What’s more, Visa found more consumers used mobile phones and PCs to do their holiday shopping. Visa said, based on VisaNet, the processing network, eCommerce spending increased 19 percent. The data meshes with Visa’s forecast in October, which forecasted online shopping would jump 18 percent year over year.

Visa cited more consumer confidence in the U.S. for the increase in retail sales and an increase in the job market and incomes. “December’s 2.9 percent was [the] fastest year-over-year wage growth seen in nearly eight years, and in November, more than 200,000 jobs were created — demonstrating a strong labor market,” Visa said in the Retail Spending Monitor.

During the 2016 holiday shopping season, eCommerce accounted for a larger portion of the retail sales, representing a 24 percent share of the holiday retail spend, up from 21 percent in 2015. In November 2016, greater than 25 percent of holiday retail was eCommerce, up from close to 22 percent in 2015.

“While eCommerce helped fuel all the peak shopping days during the holiday season, Cyber Monday was still the largest eCommerce shopping day of the season. Spending on a mobile device continues to gain in popularity and is expected to continue to rise in the coming years,” Visa said.

The results are in line with U.S. retail sales data that was released late last week. That data revealed that retail sales increased 4.1 percent in December, compared to a year ago, buoyed by eCommerce and auto sales.


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