Overall retail sales (in store and online) for the 2015 holiday season increased 3 percent, to $626.1 billion, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Online sales grew the most — 9 percent, to $105 billion. The NRF considers this solid growth considering the unforeseen weather events across the country and an extreme deflationary retail environment.

Before the holiday season began, NRF forecasted that total retail sales growth, including online sales, would be 3.7 percent.

“Weather, inventory challenges, advances in consumer technology and the deep discounts that started early in the season and have carried into January presented stiff headwinds for retailers,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Despite these factors, sales still grew at a healthy rate, which is a huge testament to the resilience, knowledge and expertise of the retail leadership in this country.”

NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz added, “December’s retail sales remind us how significant of an impact unusual weather can have on retail and overall economic activity.”

Source: National Retail Federation (NRF)

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