U.S. retail sales fell as much as 4% this holiday season as consumers limited purchases to necessities and cut back on clothing, electronics, and jewelry, according to SpendingPulse.
Spending figures are the lowest since MasterCard Advisors started tracking data in 2002 to provide the SpendingPulse service, said Michael McNamara, vice president of Research and Analysis. He estimates sales, excluding autos and gasoline, fell 2% to 4% from Nov. 1 through Dec. 25.
Combined electronics and appliance sales fell 27%t, with purchases more than US$1,000 suffering the most, according to SpendingPulse data. Luxury sales, including jewelry, plunged 35%, the data showed.
Purchases over the Internet fared better, with a 2.3% decline.
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