Opinion: Record retail sales this holiday season represent the booming American economy
EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.
WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - This holiday season has been a happy one for retailers. Retail sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas rose by 4.9 percent. That is the steepest increase since 2011, according to Mastercard Spending Pulse.
Shoppers spent over $800 billion this holiday season, a record.
What does that all mean?
First, it is an important boost for stores like Walmart, Macy’s and the GAP; many of which have struggled recently. These businesses employ a lot of Americans.
Almost 5 million Americans alone work as retail salespeople, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Strong sales help ensure that retailers stay in business and expand. That in turn allows for millions and millions of Americans to keep their jobs and for more jobs to be created.
Second, e-commerce is leading the way in the retail surge, rising 18.1 percent from last year, according to Mastercard Spending Pulse. This represents the growth and strength of the new economy which spurns innovation and modernization across sectors.
Third, and very importantly, the drivers behind these retail gains are not only high-income shopper as they have mostly been in the past, but also Americans who fall into low and middle-income categories. That is according to the Wall Street Journal.
Here is the bottom line: retail sales statistics are an actual representation of the consumer confidence numbers which continue to be at 17-year highs.
The tax reform which was just passed by Congress and signed by President Trump should continue the positive trends as it will put more money in the pockets of Americans, allow for the stock market to surge and for employers to grow and hire.