Americans would hardly be able to celebrate Christmas properly if the U.S. Census Bureau didn’t sprinkle some of its magic informational dust on the holiday.
For those last minute shoppers, please know that you will help build the estimated retail sales for the holiday to a glorious ho-ho-ho multibillion-dollar level. It was $24.5 billion in December 2014, up from $17.3 billion in November 2014.
In the buildup to Christmas, the growth in inventories at the nation’s department stores from Aug. 31, 2014, to Nov. 30, 2014, was 21.7 percent.
Total sales in December 2014 for department stores was 14.2 percent. For jewelry stores it was 18.2 percent.
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Electronics are always hot gift items. Electronic shopping and mail-order houses in December 2014 did $48.3 billion in estimated retail sales. That was the highest total for any month last year.
Christmas tree decorations are nothing to sneeze at.
U.S. imports of Christmas tree ornaments between January and September 2015 are valued at $1.2 billion. Most of it comes from China, which also was the leading foreign source of artificial Christmas trees sent to the U.S. valued at $163.3 million in that same period.
Poinsettias are always a holiday favorite. In 2014, there were 567 U.S. poinsettia producers. California, North Carolina and Florida ranked as the top three for sales.
Who says the U.S. doesn’t make anything anymore? In 2013 there were 545 places that produced dolls, toys and games, employing 6,538 workers. California led the country with 86 establishments.
Postal deliveries are expected to be up after all the parcels are counted. In December 2014, package deliveries were up 18 percent compared with December 2013.