Last-minute holiday shopping boosts U.S. sales, spending expected to increase

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More last-minute shoppers flocked to stores this year on the final Saturday before Christmas than last year, but spending is expected to be even higher late this week.

U.S. retail sales on Saturday were up 15.1 percent from last year to $7.58 billion as many people wrapped up their gift buying, research firm ShopperTrak said on Tuesday. This year also benefited from its comparison to the weekend in 2009 when a blizzard hammered the East Coast.

That storm contributed to a 16.5 percent drop to $6.58 billion in so-called “Super Saturday” spending in 2009. This year’s totals were below the $7.87 billion Americans spent for the day in 2008, said ShopperTrak, which analyzes the retail industry.

Full story: Last-minute holiday shoppers boost U.S. sales