Retailers Do Slightly Better Than Last Year

MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse reported that shoppers were willing to spend more when the stock market wasn’t crashing before their eyes. This holiday season, retail sales rose 3.6 percent from Nov. 1 through Dec. 24, compared with a 2.3 percent drop in the year-ago period. Adjusting for an extra shopping day between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the number was closer to a 1 percent gain.

Although these numbers are not great, they are encouraging. It’s nice to see a stable economy. The question is how far in the hole people went to give joy this holiday season …

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