Retail sales in the United States increased 3.1% between November 1 and December 24, according to a Mastercard study released on Tuesday.

The increase is lower than the 3.7% growth projected by Mastercard in September and the 7.6% increase seen last year as higher interest rates and inflation weighed on consumer spending, reported Reuters.

Amazon and Walmart increased deals in the United States through November to entice bargain-hunting buyers, but analysts said the reductions were not as steep as the previous year when retailers were faced with excess stock following the epidemic.

“Consumers are still spending, but they’re still price conscious and want to stretch their budgets,” Arun Sundaram, an analyst at CRFA Research told Reuters. He described the weeks between Cyber Monday and Super Saturday as a “soft period” for buying, but customers took advantage of the last weekend before Christmas to get “big deals.”

According to the survey, e-commerce sales expanded at a slower rate of 6.3% compared to 10.6% the previous year, as the popularity of online shopping fell from epidemic highs.


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