This Holiday Season Had Some Great News for the US Economy

What happened?

Holiday shoppers spent a record $800 billion this year, according to a Mastercard report. That’s good news for the U.S. economy, the employment rate and consumer confidence going into 2018.

Mastercard analytics found that holiday sales during the shopping season (defined as the time between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24) jumped 4.9 percent, which is the biggest year-over-year rise since 2011.

Mike Broomhead talked about these promising stats while standing in for Glenn on today’s show. Listen to the clip (above) to hear his take on why 2017 has been a good year for the U.S. economy.

What else should I know?

Online shopping is growing, but most sales still take place in a physical store. A Mastercard rep told Reuters that online sales make up “11 or 12 percent of total retail sales” because people “still love the experience of being in a store.”

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A 7.5 percent spike in home electronics and appliances; holiday promotions during the first three weeks of November; and big last-minute sales all helped contribute to the shopping season boom, according to USA Today.

Where does Amazon factor in all of this?

Some people apparently put off buying gifts, benefiting online retailers. Online sales jumped 18.1 percent due to a later spike., everyone’s competitor, said it set records this season and reported that more than 4 million people tried an Amazon Prime subscription in one week during the holiday shopping period.