U.S. Holiday Retail Sales Rose 3%, Driven by Online Shoppers
“U.S. holiday season sales beat low expectations for the pandemic year as online shopping surged. Total retail sales grew 3% over the extended 75-day holiday period, versus a forecast of 2.4%, according to Mastercard Spending Pulse, which tracks online and in-store retail sales across all payment methods. The is far better than the 3.5% drop recorded during 2008, the last U.S. recession. “It’s a very healthy number” given the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, Steve Sadove, senior adviser for Mastercard and former chief executive officer of Saks Inc., said in an interview. “That shows me the American consumer is highly resilient.”
EU-U.K. Trade Deal Gets Nod From Bloc’s Top Envoys in Brussels
“European Union ambassadors gave the go-ahead to the bloc’s draft free-trade agreement with the U.K., paving the way for the deal to take effect on Jan. 1. “EU ambassadors have unanimously approved the provisional application of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement as of January 1, 2021,” Sebastian Fischer, a Brussels-based spokesman for the German government, whose country currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, said in a Twitter post on Monday.”
China’s Economy Set to Overtake U.S. Earlier Due to Covid Fallout
“The Chinese economy is set to overtake the U.S. faster than previously anticipated after weathering the coronavirus pandemic better than the West, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research. The world’s biggest and second-biggest economies are on course to trade places in dollar terms in 2028, five years earlier than expected a year ago, it said on Saturday. In its World Economic League Table, the consultancy also calculated that China could become a high-income economy as soon as 2023. Further cementing Asia’s growing might, India is set to move up the rankings to become the No. 3 economy at the end of the decade.”
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