Discounts spur US retail sales to 7.6% growth in holiday season


Retailers, including Amazon and Walmart in the US, offered large discounts during the holiday season to get rid of excess stock and bring back inventories to normal levels.

NEW YORK: US retail sales rose 7.6% between Nov 1 and Dec 24, which encompasses the majority of the holiday season, as steep discounts lured deal-hungry consumers, a Mastercard report shows.

The increase is higher than the 7.1% growth Mastercard forecast in September, when it anticipated consumers would pull purchases into October in the hunt for early deals.

However, this year’s holiday retail sales growth is less than the 8.5% increase last year as decades-high inflation, rising interest rates and the threat of a recession turned consumers cautious.

Retailers, including Amazon.com Inc and Walmart Inc in the US, offered large discounts during the holiday season to get rid of excess stock and bring back inventories to normal levels.

That led to strong demand for everything from toys to electronics during the five-day-long period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.

Online sales jumped 10.6% in the period, slightly less than the 11% increase last year, the Mastercard report said. — Reuters

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