Reports of holiday and post-holiday sales at retail are in and by all measures exceeded everyone’s expectations. Shoppers came out early and often to get the seasonal momentum going earlier than usual. But they didn’t stop there. Retails sales in October, November and December peaked above and beyond 2018-19 levels, as Americans spent the season enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of holiday shopping - a welcome return to tradition for many.

We’ve curated the most telling statistics from a variety of consumer and business reports and served them up here, below:

National Retail Federation

• Retail sales during 2021’s November-December holiday season grew 14.1 percent over 2020 to $886.7 billion, easily beating the National Retail Federation’s forecast and setting a new record.

• Both the amount spent and the growth rate are new highs, topping the previous records of $777.3 billion spent in 2020 and 8.2 percent growth that year. NRF forecast in October that 2021 holiday sales would increase between 8.5 percent and 10.5 percent over 2020 to between $843.4 billion and $859 billion, then said in December that growth could be as much as 11.5 percent. The 2021 growth compares with an average 4.4 percent holiday sales growth over the previous five years.

• “We closed out the year with outstanding annual retail sales and a record holiday season, which is a clear testament to the power of the consumer and the ingenuity of retailers and their workers,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

US News & World Report

• Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks all kinds of payments including cash and debit cards, reported Sunday that holiday sales had risen 8.5% from a year earlier. Mastercard SpendingPulse had expected an 8.8% increase. The results, which covered Nov. 1 through Dec. 24, were fueled by purchases of clothing and jewelry. Holiday sales were up 10.7% compared with the 2019 holiday period.

U.S Census on Retail & Food Service Industry

• Total sales for the October 2021 through December 2021 period were up 17.1 percent (±0.7 percent) from the same period a year ago.

• Total sales for the 12 months of 2021 were up 19.3 percent (±0.5 percent) from 2020.

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