Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation (NRF) has reported that retail sales during 2022’s November-December holiday season rose 5.3 percent year-over-year, reaching $936.3 billion. Though the number fell short of NRF’s predictions, which anticipated an increase of 6 to 8 percent, it represents an improvement on the 4.9 percent average annual holiday sales growth over the previous 10 years. The calculation, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, excludes automobiles, gasoline and restaurant sales and defines that holiday season as Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, 2022.
“We knew it could be touch-and-go for final holiday sales given early shopping in October that likely pulled some sales forward plus price pressures and cold, stormy weather,” says Jack Kleinhenz, NRF’s chief economist. “The pace of spending was choppy, and consumers may have pulled back more than we had hoped, but these numbers show that they navigated a challenging, inflation-driven environment reasonably well.”
According to the Washington, D.C.-based organization, retail sales were down 0.6 percent in December relative to November, but up 5 percent year-over-year. Overall growth for the year met NRF’s forecast, reaching 7 percent.
On Wednesday, the United States Department of Commerce reported that retail sales, including automobile, gasoline and restaurant sales, totaled $677.1 billion in December 2022, a 1.1 decrease month-over-month, the largest monthly drop last year. While a decrease from November, which was revised down to $685 billion, the December figure is a 6 percent increase from December 2021.