Retailers Rejoice: Holiday Shopping Soars to Pre-Recession Levels
Shoppers splurged this holiday season, by spending more than they have over the past three years, according to preliminary retail data from MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, which tracks retail sales. In the 50 days before Christmas, spending rose 5.5 percent to exceed forecasts. In 2009, spending increased only 4 percent, and the year before, Americans tightened their buckles so much, sales dropped by 6 percent, reports the New York Times. All categories benefited, including apparel, jewelry, luxury goods and home furniture.