Black Friday (shopping)

Holiday shoppers break spending records; sales up 4.9%

Holiday shoppers break spending records; sales up 4.9%

After another year of bankruptcies and gloomy reports of dying malls, retailers are at least ending 2017 on a high note — and their prospects are looking up for 2018.

Retail sales were up 4.9% this holiday season, the largest year-over-year gain since 2011, according to Mastercard’s SpendingPulse Report, which tracked sales activity across all payment types from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24.

The report said the increase represents a “new record for dollars spent” but did not give a dollar amount. Another research firm, Customer Growth Partners, said that from the start of the holiday season to Christmas Eve, shoppers spent $598 billion, up from $565 billion for the same period last...

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