U.S. sees strongest holiday sales since 2010

Holiday sales during November and December increased 5.5 percent over the same period in 2016 to $691.9 billion as growing wages, stronger employment and higher confidence led consumers to spend more than had been expected, the National Retail Federation said today. The number, which excludes restaurants, automobile dealers and gasoline stations, includes $138.4 billion in online and other non-store sales, which were up 11.5 percent over the year before.

The results exceeded NRF’s forecast of between $678.75 billion and $682 billion, which would have been an increase of between 3.6 and 4 percent, and marked the largest increase since the 5.2 percent year-over-year gain seen in 2010 after the end of the Great Recession. NRF had forecast that non-store sales, which include online sales, would grow between 11 and 15 percent to between $137.7 billion and $142.6 billion.

December alone was up 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted from November and up 4.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

“We knew going in that retailers were going to have a good holiday season but the results are even better than anything we could have hoped for, especially given the misleading headlines of the past year,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. “Whether they shopped in-store, online or on their phones, consumers were in the mood to spend, and retailers were there to offer them good value for their money. With this as a starting point and tax cuts putting more money into consumers’ pockets, we are confident that retailers will have a very good year ahead.”

“Retail has proven once again that it is the most nimble industry in the economy, able to transform and reinvent itself to meet always-changing consumer demands,” Shay said. “Retail today doesn’t look like retail 10 years ago and it certainly won’t look the same in another 10 years. But retail is retail, and will always be here to serve its customers.”

With unemployment at a 17-year low, a pickup in income, strong consumer confidence and a rising stock market, NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said a number of factors provided a strong base for spending during the holidays. The season came on the heels of the three strongest monthly year-over-year gains for retail sales since the fourth quarter of 2014, nominal disposable personal income was up a combined 3.5 percent year-over-year in October and November, and consumers were feeling better about using their credit cards, with outstanding balances up 6 percent year-over-year.

The economy was in great shape going into the holiday season, and retailers had the right mix of inventory, pricing and staffing to help them connect with shoppers very efficiently,” Kleinhenz said in a statement. “Strong employment and more money in consumers’ pockets along with the news of tax cuts clearly helped with the pace of shopping. The market conditions were right, retailers were doing what they know how to do, and it all worked. We think the willingness to spend and growing purchasing power seen during the holidays will be key drivers of the 2018 economy.”

NRF’s numbers are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which reported today that overall December sales – including automobiles, gasoline and restaurants – were up 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted from November and 5.4 percent year-over-year.

There were increases in every retail category except sporting goods during the holiday season, which NRF defines as November 1 through December 31. Specifics from key retail sectors during November and December combined include:

• Building materials and supplies stores increased 8.1 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
• Furniture and home furnishings stores increased 7.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
• Electronics and appliance stores increased 6.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
• General merchandise stores increased 4.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
• Clothing and accessories stores increased 2.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
• Health and personal care stores increased 2.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
• Sporting goods stores were down 0.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

About NRF
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

Source: National Retail Federation

MacDailyNews Take: Strong holiday retail sales and a stronger U.S. economy, especially regarding employment and disposable income gains, obviously bodes well for Apple and everyone else. A rising tide lifts all boats!

Happy Friday!

Cherished interns: Be. Live. Do. (Meaning: Tap that keg!)

Prost, everyone!

SEE ALSO:
Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq rocket to new all-time records – January 11, 2018
S&P 500 and Nasdaq rise to records on first trading day of 2018 – January 2, 2018
U.S. employment jumps more than expected in November, boosts U.S. stocks – December 8, 2017
U.S. third-quarter GDP revised to three-year high of 3.3% – November 29, 2017
Goldman Sachs sees U.S. unemployment rate hitting lowest level since the late-1960s – November 20, 2017
American consumer confidence soars to highest level since December 2000 – October 31, 2017
U.S. jobless claims plunge to lowest level since 1973 – October 19, 2017
U.S. economy picks up steam; second-quarter GDP up 3.0% reflecting robust consumer spending and strong business investment – August 30, 2017
U.S. consumer confidence shows Americans upbeat on jobs, economy – July 25, 2017

56 Comments

      1. Let’s see now, Why suddenly are all of those large companies giving $1000+ bonuses and increasing the minimum wage they pay even where it is not legally required? Certainly was not under O.

        O feed the economy, did he? So he spent 8 years with the lowest growth rate in a gazillion years and the instant he is gone, he is suddenly the savior. You are right about one thing – the reason the economy took off is because he left the office! Anyone could be better than he was. And a businessman made it great!

        1. The $1,000 bonuses were in the works long before Trump was elected, but you already knew that. And like the president, you chose to repeat that lie believing that if you say a lie over and over it will come true. Or at least other people will believe it.
          No company, not even Apple, will ever hire one employee more than they absolutely have to. If they did, their shareholders would replace the managers at the top.
          That same company you are talking about, AT&T is also laying off a lot of employees. Another fact you conveniently chose to leave out.

      2. delusion |dəˈlo͞oZHən|
        noun
        an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder: SYN The Other Steve.

      3. We won’t know the impact of Trump until data from his policies are put in place and examined. His policies are just now being implemented so we cant deduce anything just yet. So Don’t underestimate what this idiot can do yo the economy. I’ll stay optimistic and hope for the best.

    1. CONTEXT: While as usual some people here are gloating based on clickbait headlines, intelligent people are well aware of the trends in play. Obama did oversee 8 years of steady growth. Trump’s tax cuts have not taken effect and the magic power he exerts over his rabid followers has not translated into a dramatic retail sales boost above the predictions of the continued Obama growth trend.

        1. Says the twat Dean Clark , aka russian troll botvinnik, who never posted anything but insults and alt right propaganda. He is too stupid to find a political discussion board.

        1. Name one regulation that Trump had anything to do with cutting that improves your life in any way.

          Trump is all talk and zero real action. The orange idiot doesn’t have any policy except to tweet insults all day. Someday his rabid followers will catch on, perhaps when their $50 tax rebate expires.

          The only legislative bill he signed was a lobbyist-written handout to corporations and their managers, the 1%ers. I wonder what Trump supporters are going to say when the loopholes are exploited by the rich, as always, and the temporary income tax for the working class expires.

          Odd that anyone would be happy that Trump is too incompetent to fully staff the administration that is supposed to enforce rules. He claims he’s a genius but instead of putting serious effort into permanently reforming government agency organitional charts and mission statements, he’s off watching Hannity’s endless stream of slanted opinionation. The only ones who would be happy about an administration that can’t efficiently function are rule breakers. I rather like clean air, clean water, organized infrastructure, timely mail, and other nationwide functions that no corporate will ever do without gouging you and me.

          Trump says he’s going to fix everything but so far he’s done nothing but appointment a handful of swamp creatures who have openly sworn to f up the departments they run. The rotating door in the White House has only 4 official who plan to stay, and three of them are incompetent Trump family members who have never run any nonprofit or government organization of any size it shows.

          The GDP will be fine for a couple years while corporations roll around in their overflowing treasuries. when the inevitable hangover crash happens, the right wing will be scrambling to point the blame. Botvink claims that his party is master of all, but his hubris will be weak defense when the revolution happens. That revolution will demand better schools, better roads, better value in healthcare, lower government debt, clean air, clean water, an open NN internet, and competent uncorrupted officials who are elected by the people, not propped up by political parties that are entirely financed by multinational companies that care more about offloading externalities onto taxpayers than they do serving the public. You will quickly forget about your $50 tax rebate when in the future Uncle Sam has no choice but to come around to collect more taxes to pay off its new debts. Just like every president in the last 50 years had to do.

    1. You sound stupider with each passing day.

      Obama’s Keynesian bullshit and nutball environmentalist wackiness smothered the U.S economy. His lawless attitude fostered rampant unemployment, low wages, and drug addiction. His government was corrupt, using government agencies to persecute his opponents and, indeed, even at least one known opposition presidential candidate. In his heart he hated America and what it stands for despite his many attempts to tear it down. Obama is a stain on American history.

        1. No, it’s not fair enough. Blowhard Barry has joined the usual clowns in posting insults and propaganda posters while pretending that only their team ever does anything good. Fact is, deregulation of the financial industry (which was a bipartisan mistake) that led to the 2008 crash is being pushed again by one party that didn’t learn the lesson: the republicans. They always claim all regulation is bad, but the Red team has governed over relatively less prosperous years for two generations. Facts don’t lie. Republican administrations since Nixon have racked up more public debt and returned a lower average economic growth rate. They are very good about selling trickle down to the bitter xenophobic financially illiterate lower classes, but America now has a dying middle class while working wages continue to be stagnant in real terms, not even keeping pace with inflation most years.

          America needs a fiscally responsible 3rd party pronto. The manure that both sides sell on what used to be a Mac news site is all propaganda with zero facts. Especially the usual insulting breibart afficianados here.

          1. “Facts don’t lie. Republican administrations since Nixon have racked up more public debt and returned a lower average economic growth rate.”

            OK, then show us the facts.

            You posted this a few posts down responding to Barry:

            “Define worst using data. You offer no data, so why would anyone believe you?”

            OK Realist, so where is your data? … 🤔

  1. This year saw the third largest rate of job growth for a president’s first year. No. 1 was FDR, No. 2 Obama, No. 3 Trump. The difference is both FDR and Obama inherited economies that were in the tank, while Trump continues to enjoy the benefits of the economy he inherited from Obama.

    1. Obama gave us the worst recovery from a recession since WW II.
      That bad economy that he “inherited” (mortgage meltdown) was the result of Democrat policies.

      1. You really are crazy. Or… Are you taking your meds. Make sure you get back on them. Donating a check, of one month, no wonder he sucks as a businessmam and as a president.

          1. To those who can’t even spend all the money they inherited comes great responsibility to use it wisely. That includes Apple executives as well.

            Do please inform us which charities actually get the money, because Trump has a long history of senility, forgetting promises or his racist opinions moments after he spouts them.

            1. • National Park Service (earmarked for Gettysburg)
              • Department of Health and Human Services (earmarked toward a public information campaign about the opioid crisis)

  2. Wow, nice collection of all the moron commenters on Mac Daily News, who think they’re smart and are not. Even if a rising tide does float all boats, your tsunami of ignorance is destroying the United States. This row of serial commenters says it all. You declare to those who at smarter than you, just like the stable genius you love, that they are “Progs, Libtards, etc.” Well, at least you assholes have each other, since you are clearly unloved by all other humans. What a sad lonely group of deplorables. Your whole lives appear to be the comment section of MDN. You inflict your politics on others, who have to see it if they read the Apple news on this site, because you seem to enjoy aggravating others, hence your lives devoid of any love or human contact. I bet your u’re as good looking as you are smart. Ugh!

    1. Michael, I understand where you are coming from, but you are talking crazy here. Suppose you walked into a pub in Belfast in 1972 and held forth on British hegemony. Do you imagine you’d escape with your skin? Or a California bar with a Raiders emblem on the window and talking up the Forty-niners. Your mistake is thinking that people will put up with an outsider. Don’t you know that they will put you down? Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.

  3. Do you even own AAPL or any Mac product? Are you Russian? Are you adults? Seriously, look around at all the people who love and respect you. I hear blow up dolls with silicon vaginas are not likely to talk back, but they don’t count as people any more than that box of Kleenex you call girlfriend.

  4. Since 2008 thousands of retail stores from large to small have closed. 2016 was a record year and so was 2017 for store closings.

    Compounding this is that few if any retailers have opened new stores. Wal-Mart will be closing 79 Sam’s Club stores in 2018. Sears, Kmart and Macy’s have announced more store closing for 2018.

    Home ownership is the lowest since the 1960’s, rents are high, low wages, high consumer debt, low savings make this a crumbing economy.

      1. Not only have retail stores closed in record numbers many are filing for bankruptcy protection. No new stores are opening. At best a few retailers will experimenting with stores half their old size.

        The US auto industry has had the worse year in a long time. Outside of retail fat food giant SubWay closed 700 stores in 2017 even as they canabalize stores for sake of cash flow. Manufactures such as Mattel are struggling. Whirlpool stop selling to Sears even as they’re struggling.

      1. “Home ownership *was* at a low (thanks to Obama)”

        Rewriting history are we. The housing crises was under Bush. You expect us to believe Obama was president for 16 years?

        Homes are off the market in record numbers as bank keep properties in foreclosure limbo to drive up prices of existing.

        From article you linked:
        “The homeownership rate in the second quarter came in at 63.7%, up 0.8 percentage points from last year’s 62.9% but only 0.1 percentage points from the first quarter’s 63.6%.”

        “Last year’s 62.9% represented the lowest rate for homeownership since 1965. Since then, the homeownership rate hovered close to this 50-year low.”

  5. Where are these higher wages they speak of haven’t seen a raise of more than 1% in over 12 years. The company I work for was taken over by a U.S. based international fortune 500 and since then. Not only haven’t we had raises they have taken away our pension, and retirement savings match as well as our insurance has gone up more than our rase every year.

    It’s not just the employees outside the U.S. complaining, we have a place to ask the CEO questions and the vast majority are “With tax changes in the U.S. can we get a raise or can we get contribution to to our 401k”.

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