Mastercard Data: Holiday Sales Climb 3.1% YoY

Preliminary data for the period from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24 showed a 3.1% year-over-year increase in both online and in-store retail sales, according to the Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures sales across all forms of payment and is not adjusted for inflation. The data also excludes automotive sales. In September 2023, Mastercard had forecast a 3.7% increase for this period.

Online sales grew 6.3%, outpacing the 2.2% increase in in-store sales. As in previous years, ecommerce grew at a faster pace than brick-and-mortar retail, but the latter still accounts for the majority of all sales.

Spending at restaurants saw a significant jump, increasing 7.8% compared to 2022. Apparel sales grew 2.4% and grocery increased 2.1%, while jewelry and electronics sales declined by 2% and 0.4% respectively.

“Retailers started promotions early this season, giving consumers time to hunt for the best deals and promotions,” said Steve Sadove, Senior Advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Incorporated in a statement. “Ultimately it was about getting the most bang for your buck as consumers spent on a variety of goods and services, resurfacing spending trends from before the pandemic.”