It’s a Happy Holiday So Far, with e-Commerce a Big Contributor

PURCHASE, N.Y. – December 15, 2017 – Mastercard SpendingPulse today released its U.S. Retail Holiday Shopping Mid-Season Update, reporting strong growth of 3.6 percent compared to last year. In fact, 2017 is projected to show the strongest holiday season growth rates since 2010, with the overall potential to surpass 5 percent year-over-year growth.

The SpendingPulse holiday shopping update looks at retail spending November 1 through December 9.

Key findings of the Mastercard SpendingPulse report include:

  • e-Commerce sales are up 16.3 percent since November, as Cyber Week continues to find new fans. While Black Friday still accounts for significant dollar volumes, Cyber Week (Nov. 27-Dec. 3) saw higher growth this year – sales were up 5 percent compared to last year.
  • Retailers’ heavy early-season promotions paid off, with the first three weeks of November seeing significant jumps. Those early bird shoppers were particularly spending on electronics, home improvement and jewelry, though all categories saw growth, including apparel.
  • Home is clearly where the heart is this holiday season, with home-related purchases way up. Not only did home improvement grow 11.6 percent, but home furniture and furnishings was up 3.5 percent.

MA SpendingPulse-Mid-Season Update-Total Sales

MA SpendingPulse-Mid-Season Update-e-Commerce

“When we look at holiday spend, it’s easy to see that 2017 will likely be a good year for retailers. Unemployment is at 4.1 percent, wages are rising, consumers are confident. It is all playing out in the shopping picture this holiday season as retailers and gift recipients would want it to,” said Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president of market insights, Mastercard.

Interestingly, many of these same trends are playing out across the Atlantic as well. Mastercard SpendingPulse found that U.K. retail sales saw 3.1 percent growth in November, with 12.2 percent eCommerce increases. Categories like furniture and electronics were among the big winners.

About Mastercard SpendingPulse

SpendingPulse reports on national U.S. retail sales across all payments types. The findings are based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other payment forms, such as cash and check. In addition to the United States, SpendingPulse is available in select markets around the world.

All figures are retail excluding automotive. The weekly results that are based on the 4-5-4 retail calendar show the increased importance of the first two weeks of November.

About Mastercard

Mastercard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry.  We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.  Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.  Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Press Contact:

Beth Kitchener

Mastercard Communications