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Holiday Spending Up 3% Over Last Year

Retail holiday spending during the 2023 holiday season rose just over 3% year over year, according to data from Mastercard SpendingPulse.

“This holiday season, the consumer showed up, spending in a deliberate manner,” says Michelle Meyer, chief economist at the Mastercard Economics Institute. “The economic backdrop remains favorable with healthy job creation and easing inflation pressures, empowering consumers to seek the goods and experiences they value most.”

Online retail sales increased 6.3% year over year while in-store sales rose 2.2% year over year. Spending online is increasing at a faster pace than in-store, taking a growing slice of the retail pie, while shopping in-store still makes up a considerably larger portion of total retail spending.

Apparel was one of the top categories for shoppers this season as consumers shopped for new outfits and upcoming holiday festivities. The sector was up 2.4% year over year.

Culinary celebrations continued as family and friends gathered in restaurants to ring in the holidays. The restaurant sector was up 7.8% year over year, while grocery was up 2.1% for the season.

“Retailers started promotions early this season, giving consumers time to hunt for the best deals and promotions,” says Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and chairman of Saks Inc. “Ultimately it was about getting the most bang for your buck as consumers spent on a variety of goods and services, resurfacing spending trends from before the pandemic.”

About Jacob Musselman

Jacob is the content coordinator for Hardware Retailing Magazine. A lifelong Hoosier, Jacob earned a B.S. in journalism and telecommunications with a minor in digital publishing from Ball State University. He loves making bagels, going to farmers markets with his wife Hannah and two dogs and watching Formula One.

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