Online sales record leads holiday shopping surge

Letting their fingers do the work on the keyboard was the primary way customers did their holiday shopping.

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U.S. holiday e-commerce sales hit a new record high, up 18.8 percent from the 2018 period, according to Mastercard data reported by Reuters.

Overall holiday retail sales rose 3.4 percent.

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President Trump took to Twitter to trumpet the data.

Sales estimates from the National Retail Federation ranged from 3.8 percent to 4.2 percent.

E-commerce sales this year represented 14.6 percent of total retail between November 1 and Christmas Eve.

US ECONOMY MEANS A MERRY CHRISTMAS FOR MANY

The holiday shopping season is crucial for retailers accounting for up to 40 percent of the sales for the year.

The calendar didn't help the industry as Thanksgiving fell on Nov. 28, which was a week later than last year.

Holiday shopping.

That meant retailers had six fewer days to drive sales leading to Christmas.

"Due to a later than usual Thanksgiving holiday, we saw retailers offering omnichannel sales earlier in the season, meeting consumers’ demand for the best deals across all channels and devices," said Steve Sadove, senior adviser for MasterCard.

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According to analysts, the surge in shopping was boosted by wage growth and a string job market.