US retail sales over the Christmas period were better than expected, according to data from the National Retail Federation (NRF).
The data showed that retail sales in December, excluding those at automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants, increased by 13.4% against last year’s figure, but dropped by 2.7% from the previous month.
Sales grew by 14.1% to $886.7bn from November to December compared with the same period of last year.
During this period, online and other non-store sales increased by 11.3% to $218.9bn, while sales in clothing and clothing accessory stores rose by 33.1%.
Grocery and beverage store sales increased by 8.6%, while sporting goods stores also reported a 20.9% rise in sales.
The NRF figures are based on data from the US Census Bureau.
NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said: “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.
“Despite supply chain problems, rising inflation, labour shortages and the Omicron variant, retailers delivered a positive holiday experience to pandemic-fatigued consumers and their families.
“Consumers were backed by strong wages and record savings and began their shopping earlier this year than ever before. This is, in part, why we saw a decline in sales from November to December.
“The NRF expects further growth for this year and we will continue to focus on industry challenges presented by Covid-19, the supply chain, labour force issues and persistent inflation.”
In November, the NRF reported that US retail sales increased by 1.7% seasonally adjusted from September and 16.3% from a year earlier.
Retail sales in October, excluding those at automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants, increased by 1.7% seasonally adjusted from September and were up by 10.8% unadjusted from the same period of the previous year.