Online shopping

U.S. holiday retail sales rise 8.5% as online shopping soars – Reuters

Amid a slew of negative news regarding the COVID-19 variant linked to South Africa, Reuters has shared a positive update from global payment network Mastercard.

“Retail sales in the United States rose 8.5% during this year’s holiday shopping season, from November 1 to December 24, thanks to soaring e-commerce sales,” said reported the news.

Mastercard’s SpendingPulse also mentioned, “U.S. e-commerce sales jumped 11% during this year’s holiday shopping season, again underscoring the role of the COVID-19 pandemic in the transformation of customers’ buying habits.

Along the same line, Mastercard senior adviser Steve Sadove said: “Buyers were eager to secure their gifts ahead of the retail rush, conversations surrounding supply chain and supply chain issues. workforce sending consumers online and to stores in droves.”

“Holiday e-commerce sales accounted for 20.9% of total retail sales this year, the data showed, noting that the sector continues to see growth as consumers appreciate the ease of browsing and shopping in the comfort of their homes,” the news adds.

Foreign exchange implications

The news appears to have played a role in limiting the market’s negative reaction to Omicron fears, helping AUD/USD defend 0.7200 in Monday’s early Asian session.

Read: AUD/USD extends pullback from monthly high to 0.7200 amid Omicron woes