The early returns are in for US retailers from the holiday shopping season, and the word "robust" comes to mind. In fact, this season has seen the strongest growth since 2011, reports USA Today. Specifically, retail sales from Nov. 1 through Christmas Eve rose 4.9% over last year, according to data from Mastercard SpendingPulse. Some details about the numbers:
- E-sales: Not surprisingly, online sales propelled the strong year, registering a jump of 18.1% percent over last year, reports the Wall Street Journal. Generally, online sales have made up 10% of US spending, but that's expected to double in 2017. Of note: Amazon reports that 4 million people signed up for Amazon Prime memberships in one week alone during the holiday season.