U.S. holiday sales better than last year - MasterCard

Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:09am EST

Dec 26 (Reuters) - The 2013 holiday season, touted to be the worst since 2008, showed strong growth compared to last year, according to data published by MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, which tracks customer spending during the holiday season.

Holiday sales between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 rose 2.3 percent, compared to 0.7 percent a year earlier.

"It was actually a Merry Christmas for retailers," Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president at MasterCard Advisors, told Reuters, adding that jewelry was the best-performing category during the season.

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