Christmas sales in the United States had their most significant increase in 17 years


Christmas sales in the United States had their most significant increase in 17 years despite the advance of the Omicron variant.

Many people stayed home but did their shopping online. As a result, the overall figure grew by 8.5% compared to 2020.

According to a specialized figure, Christmas sales in the United States had their most significant increase in 17 years, despite inflation, shortages of some products, and the new variant of the coronavirus.

Mastercard Spending Pulse, which tracks all kinds of expenses, including credit and debit cards, reported Sunday that holiday sales were up 8.5% from the previous year. The firm had anticipated a 7.4% increase.

The results, which span from November 1 to December 24, were driven mainly by clothing and jewelry purchases.

Sales increased 10.7% compared to just before the pandemic in 2019.

By category, clothing sales increased by 47%, jewelry by 32%, and electronics by 16%.

The online sales were up 11% compared to the previous year and 61% compared to 2019.

Sales in department stores were up 21% from the previous year.

After the emergence of the omicron variant, many people stayed home. Still, they switched their purchases to the internet, so the overall sales figure continued to rise.

"I feel great about the development of the season," said Steve Sadove, Mastercard senior advisor and former CEO of Saks Inc. "When people are feeling a little uncomfortable, we see a bit of a recovery in online sales and a little slowdown in stores. "

Sadove said consumers are "learning to live" with what COVID-19 throws at them.

"It's coming out of 2021 with a lot of consumer momentum," he said.

Still, you'll get a bigger picture of US sales next month when the National Retail Federation releases its results for the previous two months.

These results will be based on an analysis of November and December sales released by the Department of Commerce. In addition, analysts will also be examining the corresponding financial results for the last quarter of the year by various retail chains, released in February.

Omicron is likely to slow the unexpectedly strong rebound in the economy from last year's coronavirus recession, disrupting travel and likely deterring some consumers from venturing into stores, restaurants, and bars.

The variant could also worsen latent inflation by forcing factories and ports to close, delaying shipments, and pushing prices.

"A full reopening of the US economy will be delayed once again," said Robin Brooks, chief economist at the Institute of International Finance, a trade group of financial firms.

But it is not yet clear how deep the blow will be or how long it will last.

For the moment, The latest variant of COVID-19 is changing vacation plans for tens of thousands of travelers.

Airlines canceled hundreds more flights on Sunday, citing COVID-19-related staffing issues as the country's travel problems extended beyond Christmas, with no clear indication of when regular hours would resume.

According to FlightAware's flight-tracking website, more than 700 flights entering, leaving, or flying within the United States were canceled. That number dropped from nearly 1,000 on Saturday. More than 50 flights have already been canceled for Monday.

Delta, United, and JetBlue have blamed the omicron variant of the coronavirus for the staffing shortages that forced the cancellations.

Globally, airlines eliminated about 2,200 flights on Sunday morning, up from more than 2,800 cancellations the day before, data from FlightAware showed.