If you're anything like the rest of America, you probably spent more this holiday season than you have in a few years. Taken all together, the damage we did to our wallets amounts to about $616.1 billion. Congrats!
That's where total holiday retail sales clocked in during November and December, according to the National Retail Federation, a 4 percent increase from the year before. The NRF originally predicted a 4.1 percent rise, but this is pretty good, too — in fact, holiday sales growth reached its highest level since 2011. With more room to grow, the e-commerce segment got a 6.8 percent kick, coming in at $101.9 billion in sales.
It's the highest level holiday sales have reached since 2011, despite the fact that December sales actually dropped .9 percent. But thanks to better job security, low gas prices and an extended sales season that now includes the week before Black Friday (and, because why not, the weeks after it), things turned out all right.