Mastercard SpendingPulse reports that holiday sales increased 4.9 percent this year, setting a new record for dollars spent, with jewelry sales jumping by 5.9 percent largely driven by last-minute discounts.
It is the largest year-over-year increase since 2011 and a further indication of consumer confidence, the firm said in a statement. Online shopping also saw large gains of 18.1 percent compared to 2016, boosted by a late season rally.
The SpendingPulse report details holiday shopping from November 1 through December 24 and covers retail sales across all payment types, including cash and check.
The key findings of the Mastercard SpendingPulse report were that it was a winning holiday season for retail overall, though the story was different category by category.
In addition, shoppers were still spending late into the season, with December 23 next to Black Friday in terms of single-day spending. This was a boon to certain categories, including jewelry.
“Evolving consumer preferences continue to play out in the aisles and online sites of retailers across the U.S.,” said Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president of Market Insights, Mastercard. “Overall, this year was a big win for retail. The strong U.S. economy was a contributing factor, but we also have to recognize that retailers who tried new strategies to engage holiday shoppers were the beneficiaries of this sales increase.”