Hol­i­day sales up 5.5%

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - MONEY - By Anne D’In­no­cen­zio

NEW YORK >> The na­tion’s largest re­tail trade group says hol­i­day spend­ing rose a bet­ter-thanex­pected 5.5 per­cent, the strong­est gain since the Great Re­ces­sion.

The Na­tional Re­tail Fed­er­a­tion said Fri­day that hol­i­day sales reached $691.9 bil­lion as shop­pers stepped up their spend­ing in the wake of a bet­ter econ­omy. The re­sults beat the group’s orig­i­nal growth pro­jec­tions of 3.6 per­cent to 4 per­cent, and it marked the largest in­crease since the 5.2 per­cent gain in 2010.

On­line shop­ping, which is in­cluded in the re­sults, in­creased 11.5 per­cent.

The over­all fig­ure ex­cludes sales from au­tos, gas and restau­rants but in­cludes non­store sales like those from cat­a­logs.

The news comes as the gov­ern­ment re­ported that re­tail sales rose 0.4 per­cent last month, af­ter a 0.9 per­cent surge in Novem­ber.

Many re­tail­ers re­ported solid hol­i­day sales gains.

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