Retailers were hoping to rack up big holiday sales numbers this season.
According to the MasterCard Advisors Spending Pulse numbers, holiday sales of electronics, jewelry, home goods and clothing during the two months before Christmas rose just 0.7 percent when compared to the same period one year earlier.
That increase represents the worst holiday-sales performance since 2008. Holiday sales dropped that year significantly. But we all remember that the country was suffering through a serious recession that year.
Of course, the MasterCard survey represents just the first data on holiday sales. We’re still waiting for the final holiday sales numbers from the National Retail Federation. Those numbers will give a clearer picture of holiday sales.
Earlier this year, the retail federation predicted that holiday sales in November and December would rise 4.1 percent to more than $586 billion.
It’s not clear yet whether this prediction will turn out to be an accurate one.
Let’s hope it is, though. The nation’s retailers deserve a happy holiday shopping season.