U.S. retail spending edged higher last month despite the continuing coronavirus pandemic as a surge in online shopping boosted sales, according to data from Mastercard Inc.
The data from Mastercard’s SpendingPulse report—which covers cash and check payments as well as credit cards—show that consumer spending rose 3.1% year over year in November, excluding car sales. Excluding gasoline as well, spending rose 5.1%, according to Mastercard.
Shoppers spent more on furniture, groceries and hardware in the month, with each of those categories rising by double-digit percentages. Apparel spending fell by 21%, and department-store sales declined by 15%.
As shopping continues to shift online during the public-health crisis, e-commerce spending rose by 53% compared with last November to make up 18% of the month’s total retail sales, excluding cars. Big retailers with robust online sales platforms such as Walmart Inc., Target Corp. and Home Depot Inc. have experienced booms in digital shopping this year as people hoping to avoid …