Americans' spending helped drive economic growth beyond expectations in the third quarter-with apparel retailers in particular feeling a welcome recovery. Consumption of clothing and footwear rose at an 11.7% annual pace, the biggest gain since 2005, according to the US Commerce Department's gross domestic product figures. That helped propel the increase in non-durable goods consumption to the fastest rate in more than five years. The apparel category accounts for about 3% of overall consumer spending.
Low unemployment, elevated consumer confidence and stronger household finances are encouraging shoppers to dip confidently into their cash. The average household expects to spend US$ 1,536 this season, 25% more than in last year's survey, according to Deloitte.
Retail sales during November and December are expected to grow as much as 4.8% from a year earlier, beating the five-year average of 3.9%, according to the National Retail Federation.