Strong economy translates into big sales this holiday

Posted at 11:18 AM, Dec 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-26 11:18:29-05

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans buoyed by a strong economy pushed holiday sales growth to a six-year high.

According to data Wednesday from Mastercard SpendingPulse, retail sales rose 5.1 percent between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 compared with the previous year. The data used tracked spending online and in stores across all payment types. Mastercard says total sales topped $850 billion this year.

Online sales continued to grow, up more than 19 percent from a year ago. Last week, Mastercard said online sales made up 13 percent of total retail sales.

Clothing sold well this year — up nearly 8 percent from last year — the biggest growth for apparel sales since 2010.