The US economy is dominated by retail and the Christmas season is the biggest time people spend money. The Chistmas sales number is a number all policy makers watch for and hope for, because if the number is better than expected, the mood of the people is likely to be better than expected. In an article by Nivedita Balu of Reuters, Mastercard released a report which showed shoppers spent more money online than in retail stores. The online sales hit a record high.
E-commerce sales in 2019 made 14.6% of total retail sales and increased 18.8% according to Mastercard’s data tracking retail sales from November 1 to December 24. Overall holiday retail sales rose 3.4%.
People still went to the mall, but sales fell 1.8%, however online sales growth was up 6.9%. The apparel category registered stronger than expected e-commerce growth of 17%
Linking to dividend paying stocks, people in general are more comfortable buying everything on line and when they pay on line they often use a credit card. Owning the shares of the credit card has been a very good thing to own. While one hopes that individuals can pay off or most of their credit card bills, the reality is the companies will make more money if they do not. What is good for the individual is not always great for the economy in general, thank goodness people are individuals.
There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.