Increase in Holiday Retail Sales

Retail sales in December went up by 3 percent with U.S. consumers spending $579.8 Billion during the past holiday season. However, the National Retail Federation said that this was below its projected 4.1 percent increase. The federation also reported an increase in non-store retail sales that grew by just over 11 percent, although this figure was also slightly below expectations. NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said these numbers show that the fiscal cliff and economic uncertainty "had a visible impact on consumer spending this holiday season."

Among the retail categories that enjoyed an increase were clothing and clothing accessories, health and personal items, and furniture and home furnishings. However, electronics and appliance stores saw their sales go down by 0.6 percent