Retail Sales Up for Holidays

U.S. retail sales were up 3.6% from Nov. 1 through Dec. 24, compared with last year, according to data released by SpendingPulse, a unit of MasterCard Advisers.

NEW YORK — U.S. retail sales were up 3.6% from Nov. 1 through Dec. 24, compared with last year, according to data released by SpendingPulse, a unit of MasterCard Advisers.

The widely read survey said that without the extra shopping day this year between Black Friday and Christmas Eve, sales were up a mere 1%.

The National Retail Federation meanwhile had estimated that sales would be down about 1% for the season, compared with a year ago, when sales were down 3.4%.

This year, the NRF said, shoppers appeared to be waiting until the last minute. Heavy snowstorms in the days before Christmas did not seem to deter shoppers, reports said.

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