Retailers Are Crushing It This Holiday Season, Posting Best Numbers In Years

Internet vendors and retail shops are having the best holiday sales in recent memory, as shoppers continue to make online orders and purchase last-minute gifts before the new year.

Retail research predicts that the sales growth in the period from Nov. 1 to the end of December could outpace recent years, the Journal reports. The National Retail Foundation projects holiday sales to increase by 3.6 percent, up from 3.2 percent in 2015.  While predictions are great, hard figures are even better. Mastercards recent SpendingPulse survey, which analyzes consumer and market trends, shows that total retail sales rose four percent from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24.

The recent surge in sales coincides with an uptick in American optimism about the economy. U.S. consumer confidence reached its highest level in December since August, 2011, as Americans report being more upbeat about the future of the economy than at any other time in the past 13 years. The rise in consumer confidence comes as wages are up 2.5 percent from last year, unemployment is down, and the stock market is rallying following the election of President-elect Donald Trump.

Online vendors are making a killing this holiday season. Amazon announced its best-ever holiday sales Tuesday, shipping more than one billion items worldwide. Shares of Amazon are up 14 percent in 2016, outpacing the S&P 500 by 3 percent. Mastercard predicts a 19 percent increase in online sales over the holidays. Due to the volume of online orders, the United Parcel Service said Tuesday that it expects to ship record volumes of packages through the first week of January.

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