According to data from Mastercard (NYSE:MA), deep discounts enticed U.S. consumers to open their wallets this holiday season. Sales rose 7.6% between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24. This year’s holiday retail sales growth is less than the 8.5% increase last year. Experts attribute this slowdown to high inflation, rising interest rates and the imminent possibility of a recession. Apparel 4.4% and restaurants 15.1% were standout categories for consumer spending. Online sales rose 10.6% compared to last year’s 11% increase during the same time frame. Online sales rose about 11% during cyber week.
Mastercard measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment, excluding automotive sales.