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US retail sales hit record growth during holiday season; jewellery, accessories rise 3%

US retail sales hit record growth during the recent holiday season as the cost of goods went down and the job market improved.Consumers shelled out $964.4 billion over the November-to-December period, a 3.8% increase compared with 2022, the National Retail Federation (NRF), which bases its numbers on figures from the US Census Bureau, said Wednesday. That total fell within the federation’s initial prediction of a 3% to 4% rise to between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion.

Seven of the nine categories the NRF monitors saw growth over the two-month festive period. The clothing and accessories segment — which includes jewelry — rose 3%, the NRF reported. Sales fell in the building-materials and garden-supplies segment, as well as in the home-furnishings division.

Online sales increased 8.2% to $276.8 billion during the holiday months, coming within the organization’s forecast of a 7% to 9% rise to between $273.7 billion and $278.8 billion. Meanwhile, sales for the full year grew 3.6% to a record $5.13 trillion, the NRF noted.

December sales gained 5.6% year on year to $709.9 billion, and were up 0.6% from November, according to the US Census Bureau data. In November, sales advanced 0.3% month on month.

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