Retail sales rose over 8 percent this holiday season showing signs of a strong consumer economy.

Context: The economy has received bad news after bad news in 2021 but retail sales this holiday season are positive news for the economy.

Joe Biden has a worse rating on the economy than Jimmy Carter, but consumer spending seemed to not pay attention.

And that may be accurate. Factoring in inflation retail sales were up just 1.7% year over year.

Between the beginning of November and Christmas Eve, online sales were up 11% and in-store sales are up 8.1 percent.

Why this matters: The increase is the strongest showing in 17 years. But with inflation, it is actually a weak showing.

However, these numbers do not include automobile sales which are struggling in an industry dealing with supply shortages.

Interesting enough apparel and department stores saw major growth.

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