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Holiday spending up six per cent so far this year

Published:Friday | December 15, 2017 | 12:00 AM


A payment technology company says shoppers spent strongly to start the holiday season and then cooled off, but the overall pace is still stronger than a year ago.

First Data says overall spending, excluding gas, rose six per cent from November 1 through Monday, outpacing the 3.7 per cent pace for the year-ago period. The company analyzes online and in-store payments across different forms of cards from 1.3 million merchants.

Retail spending, which excludes grocery stores, restaurants, auto parts merchants and gas stations, rose 5.4 per cent, more than doubling last year's retail growth rate of two per cent. First Data says the buying was helped by cooler weather, higher consumer confidence and low employment.

E-commerce sales growth continued to outpace brick-and-mortar growth, at 10.5 per cent compared with 3.9 per cent for stores.