Holiday retail sales up as online shopping booms

U.S. retail sales rose 8.5% during this year's holiday shopping season from Nov. 1 to Dec 24, a report by Mastercard Inc said on Sunday, powered by a rush to stores amid supply chain concerns as COVID-19 cases surge as well as soaring ecommerce sales.

U.S. ecommerce sales jumped 11% in this year's holiday shopping season, according to a Mastercard SpendingPulse report, yet again underscoring the COVID-19 pandemic's role in transforming customers' shopping habits.

Holiday e-commerce sales made up almost 21% of total retail sales this year, the data showed, noting that the sector continues to see growth as consumers enjoy the ease of browsing and buying in the comfort of their homes.

Sectors such as jewelry and electronics continued to post growth as a reduction in spending on dining out, travel and leisure encouraged shoppers to make other purchases.

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