January 10, 2024

December CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor Numbers Show Retailers Had Strong Holiday Season

WASHINGTON, January 10, 2024 – Retail sales continued to grow in December, completing a strong holiday shopping season, according to the CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor, powered by Affinity Solutions, released today by the National Retail Federation. Click here to access December’s retail data.

“December’s numbers combined with November’s results show retailers had a very successful two-month holiday season,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Clearly, retailers got it right this holiday season, providing consumers with what they wanted, options on when and where to make their purchases and with prices customers were comfortable paying. These advance insights from the CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor give everyone who follows the retail industry a jumpstart on government data that won’t come out for another week.” 

Total retail sales, excluding automobiles and gasoline, were up 0.44% seasonally adjusted month over month and up 3.07% unadjusted year over year in December, according to the Retail Monitor. That compared with increases of 0.77% month over month and 4.24% year over year in November.

The Retail Monitor calculation of core retail sales – excluding restaurants in addition to autos and gas – showed increases of 0.19% month over month and 2.4% year over year in December. That compared with increases of 0.73% month over month and 4.17% year over year in November.

Total retail sales for all of 2023 were up 5.32% over 2022 and core retail sales were up 4.46%.

The results follow NRF’s forecast that holiday retail sales from November 1 through December 31 – excluding autos, gas and restaurants – would increase between 3% and 4% over 2022 to a record of between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion. The forecast is based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, and final results will be known when the Census Bureau releases December’s numbers next week.

This is the third month that the Retail Monitor, which was launched in November, has provided data on monthly retail sales. Unlike survey-based numbers collected by the Census Bureau, the Retail Monitor uses actual, anonymized credit and debit card purchase data compiled by Affinity and does not need to be revised monthly or annually.

December sales were up in six out of nine retail categories on a yearly basis, led by online sales, health and personal care stores and clothing and accessory stores, and up in five categories on a monthly basis. Specifics from key sectors include: 

  • Online and other non-store sales were up 2.59% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 31.17% year over year unadjusted. 
  • Health and personal care stores were up 0.17% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 5.58% year over year unadjusted. 
  • Clothing and accessories stores were down 0.44% month over month but up 4.28% year over year unadjusted. 
  • Grocery and beverage stores were up 0.84% month over month and up 2.39% year over year unadjusted. 
  • Sporting goods, hobby, music and book stores were up 0.62% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 2.25% year over year unadjusted. 
  • General merchandise stores were up 0.86% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 0.84% year over year unadjusted. 
  • Electronics and appliance stores were down 3.22% month over month seasonally adjusted and down 6.3% year over year unadjusted. 
  • Furniture and home furnishings stores were down 0.9% month over month seasonally adjusted and down 3.76% year over year unadjusted. 
  • Building and garden supply stores were down 1.52% month over month and down 10.17% year over year unadjusted. 

To learn more, visit

As the leading authority and voice for the retail industry, NRF provides data on retail sales each month and also forecasts annual retail sales and spending for key periods such as the holiday season each year.

About NRF
The National Retail Federation passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail succeed. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $3.9 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 52 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies. 

About CNBC
CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news, providing real-time financial market coverage and business content consumed by more than half a billion people per month across all platforms. The network’s 15 live hours a day of news programming in North America (weekdays from 5:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. ET) is produced at CNBC’s global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and includes reports from CNBC News bureaus worldwide. CNBC at night features a mix of reality programming, CNBC’s highly successful series produced exclusively for CNBC and a number of distinctive in-house documentaries.

CNBC also offers content through its vast portfolio of digital products such as:, which provides financial market news and information to CNBC’s investor audience; CNBC Make It, a digital destination focused on making you smarter about how you earn, save and spend your money; CNBC PRO, a premium service that provides in-depth access to Wall Street; a suite of CNBC mobile apps for iOS and Android devices; Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri voice interfaces; and streaming services including Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Samsung Smart TVs. To learn more, visit Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBCUniversal Media Village Web site at For more information about NBCUniversal, please visit

About Affinity Solutions
Affinity Solutions (Affinity) is the leading consumer purchase insights company. We provide a comprehensive view of U.S. consumer spending, across and between brands, via exclusive access to fully permissioned data from over 140 million debit and credit cards. This data is transformed into actionable insights for marketers, consultancies, and financial services companies to drive market share and revenue growth. Affinity powers Comet™, a powerful data-led intelligence platform that enables marketers to effortlessly plan, activate, and measure media to purchase-based outcomes. To learn more about Affinity Solutions visit



NRF: J. Craig Shearman |

CNBC: Melissa Castro |

Affinity Solutions: Stephanie Geno |

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