Holiday sales on pace to set record - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Holiday sales on pace to set record

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Even a winter storm that shut down stores along parts of the East Coast won't be enough to blow retailers off course from their best holiday sales in three years.  Retail analysts are calling the blizzard a nuisance that won't make a big dent in sales.

Spending has been surprisingly strong from the start. 

Data released Monday by Mastercard Advisors' SpendingPulse indicates 2010's holiday shopping season may be the biggest ever.

Not including cars, total consumer spending from November 5th through Christmas Eve rose 5.5% from a year ago.

That adds up to $584.3 billion... and the biggest increase since before the recession in 2007.

In another sign of strength, post-Christmas shoppers are doing more buying and less returning as they head back to stores to use gift cards and browse markdowns.

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