NRF: Holiday Sales “Better Than Expected”

Overall U.S. sales rose 4.1 percent this holiday season, the National Retail Federation estimated—substantially more than the group’s original estimate of 2.8 percent.

“A better-than-expected holiday season is welcome news for an economic recovery that continues to be sluggish, and demonstrates retail’s powerful role as an engine of growth,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in a statement.

The NRF also estimated that December retail industry sales—excluding automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants—increased 4.1 percent over last year, and 0.6 percent from the prior month.

That is in line with the U.S. Commerce Department’s numbers, which show December retail sales increased 0.1 percent, seasonally adjusted over November, and 6.2 percent over last year.

The “clothing and clothing accessories category” somewhat beat the average, with sales rising 0.7 percent for the month, and climbing 6 percent over the year before.

Still, the numbers were among the weakest in the past seven months, and analysts labeled them disappointing.

For more coverage on holiday sales, check out: