Holiday consumers opening wallets

Consumers are spending more this year during the final week of holiday shopping, according to a study conducted by Goldman Sachs and the International Council of Shopping Centers.

For the week ending Dec. 18, weekly retail sales rose by 1.7%, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index. In addition, retail sales, on a year-over-year basis, also improved and increased by 4.2%.

“Holiday-gift spending shot up over the last week with consumers, on average, completing 73.9% of their shopping, up from 56.6% in the prior week, which helped propel weekly sales results up,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC director of research and chief economist. “Now that we are down to the wire, consumers have stepped up their shopping pace, as well as their purchases. All and all, retail shopping trends are shaping up to be very favorable for holiday sales, as well as December sales performance, for retailers.”

The ICSC-Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index measures U.S. comparable-store sales based on approximately 40 retail chain stores. For December, ICSC Research anticipates the month will post a good performance with a year-over-year comparable-store sales growth increase of between 3.0 percent to 3.5 percent, industry-wide.

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