Retail sales in the US rose 5.3 per cent to US$936.3 billion during the November-December 2022 holiday season amid inflation and high interest rates, revealed the National Retail Federation (NRF).
While the numbers fell short of NRF’s forecast, overall sales for 2022 were up 7 per cent from 2021 to US$4.9 trillion, well within the 6 per cent and 8 per cent growth for the year earlier projected by NRF. US inflation fell to 6.5 per cent in December 2022 from 7.1 per cent in November.
November-December sales saw year-over-year gains in all but two of nine retail categories, led by online sales, grocery stores and general merchandise stores.
Clothing and clothing accessory stores, which include jewellery retailers, were up 2.2 per cent.
“The last two years of retail sales have been unprecedented, and no one ever thought it was sustainable,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Nonetheless, we closed out 2022 with impressive annual retail sales and a respectable holiday season despite historic levels of inflation and interest rate hikes to cool the economy.”
Shay said consumers shopped in record numbers and retailers delivered positive holiday experiences, offering more promotional price levels. He added, “The fact that we saw retail sales growth on top of December’s 14 per cent gain in 2022 shows the resilience of consumers and the creativity of retailers in driving consumption and economic activity while addressing high inflation and continued cost pressures.”
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