Ho, ho, ho: Who wants some good economic news? People went shopping this holiday season. Like, really shopping. Sales are up 3.6 percent from November 1 to December 24 this year according to MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse. Last year at this time, there was a 2.3 percent drop. Two things come to mind. First, this is a good sign for our recovery. And second, yes, every time you use your credit card, things are being tracked. Cue paranoia.
Online sales were up 15.5 percent this season, so that big blizzard didn't really impact much. So what are people spending their hard-earned cash on? Electronics, shoes, and jewelry. Luxury items are still taking a hit (up .8 percent, but it was down 20 percent last year), so no furs, croc, or any other fancy-shmancy items. And retailers are worried about this holding: Can they get anyone into a store come January? Also, most shoppers are buying clearance items because, no-brainer, they want to save money.
What did you get over the holidays? Are you going shopping? The Cut already did more online shopping last night, so we're doing our part to help the economy and max out our cards. We feel patriotic already.