Late Surge May Have Lifted Holiday Spending
MasterCard's ( MA ) SpendingPulse division says that holiday sales rose 3.6% through Christmas Eve. "Last year the economy and consumer spending were in free fall. This year we're talking about an environment that has stabilized, that has seen a leveling off," said Kamalesh Rao, director of economic research at Spending Pulse in an interview run by Reuters. The figures also show a 15.5% increase in e-commerce spending for the measured period from November 1 to December 24. It is too early to say whether the data is accurate. The MasterCard figure is based heavily on spending using its cards and only estimates cash and check purchases. Detailed figures from more traditional researchers on retail spending, including analysis from Comscore ( SCOR ) for online spending and data from the National Retail Federation for the industry overall will not be out for several days. One thing that is almost certain based on almost every measurement of retail and e-commerce sales is that spending did not drop this year, which would have been a disaster after 2008's dismal holiday shopping season. Retailers may actually show considerable increases in profits because they managed expenses, particularly temporary workers, and inventories better than they have in recent years. And while consumer spending has not returned with a vengeance just yet, at least it is not heading in the wrong direction. Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St. Continue reading Late Surge May Have Lifted Holiday Spending Late Surge May Have Lifted Holiday Spending originally appeared on DailyFinance on Mon, 28 Dec 2009 04:08:00. Filed Under: Economy Permalink | Tweet this! | Comments
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