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Led by e-commerce, 2018 holiday shopping season strongest in six years

Holiday sales excluding automobiles rose 5.1% to $850 billion, based on data from Mastercard SpendingPulse.

The total for the period between Nov. 1 and Christmas was the strongest growth in six years and includes a 19.1% surge in e-commerce sales. Mastercard’s data includes credit cards, cash and checks.

“From shopping aisles to online carts, consumer confidence translated into holiday cheer for retail,” Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard, said in a statement.

While e-commerce sales keep rising, department stores saw a 1.3% sales decline.

In a separate report, Adobe Analytics said $110.6 billion was spent online between Nov. 1 and Dec. 19, making it the biggest online shopping period of all time in the United States. reported it had a record-breaking season, but has not provided specific sales figures.

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