While total holiday retail sales increased 3 percent in 2012, according to the National Retail Federation, the tally was below NRF’s projected forecast of 4.1 and didn’t make up for shortfalls in certain categories, such as electronics.
“For over six months, we’ve been saying that the fiscal cliff and economic uncertainty could impact holiday sales,” NRF president and ceo Matthew Shay said in a release. “As the number shows, these issues had a visible impact on consumer spending this holiday season.”
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, total retail and food services sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants) grew 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 4.7 percent adjusted year-over-year.
Other findings on seasonally-adjusted month-to-month sales from the December retail sales report show:
•Clothing and clothing accessories stores' sales increased 1.0 percent
•Electronics and appliance stores’ sales decreased 0.6 percent
•Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales increased 1.4 percent
•General merchandise stores’ sales were unchanged
•Health and personal care stores’ sales grew 1.4 percent
•Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales were up 0.6 percent