The economy is alive and well.
All thanks to confident consumers that just gave retailers their best holiday season in seven years. U.S. holiday retail brick and mortar sales were up 4.9% year over year, as online sales soared 18.1%.
In fact, online sales continue to be a clear winner, led by Amazon.com.
Just this week, the online behemoth announced record-breaking sales for the holiday season with more than a billion items ordered worldwide.
Total retail sales this holiday season was a record $598 billion.
"Overall, this year was a big win for retail," Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president of Market Insights, as quoted by USA Today. "The strong U.S. economy was a contributing factor, but we also have to recognize that retailers who tried new strategies to engage holiday shoppers were the beneficiaries of this sales increase."
Given record low unemployment, high consumer confidence, disposable income and tax reform, consumers are spending again.
“The economy has been booming,” said Mark A. Cohen, director of retail sales at Columbia Business School, as quoted by The Washington Post. “Unemployment is at the very lowest point in eight years — even though there remain folks who are unemployed who are not being counted, and there are still folks who are underemployed. The fact is there are employment rolls [that] are high, consumer confidence seems to be remarkably high, disposable income is therefore robust and consumers seem to be once again loading their credit cards.”
Bottom line – retail sales statistics are a clear representation of consumer confidence and the continued strength of the U.S. economy. Better yet, the latest tax reform should continue to provide further momentum, and allow consumers to spend even more disposable income.
According to Apparel News:
The National Retail Federation is scheduled to release its final numbers on holiday sales in early January. But Matthew Shay, the NRF’s president and chief executive officer, predicted sales would be on the high end, or even exceed, the trade group’s initial forecast of a 3.6 percent to 4 percent rise over the 2016 holiday season. “Sales and traffic were up across the board, from online and luxury retailers to department and discount stores, from Main Street to mega stores and everything in between.”
As long as consumers remain healthy, The Cheap Investor is doing its due diligence to uncover even more winners for 2018 and beyond.
Happy New Year!!