Finally: Signs of a real economic recovery for the US

Christmas brought some good news for the US economy: the best holiday-season retail-sales spike since 2011.

That’s the word from Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks sales both online and in traditional brick-and-mortar stores. It cited a nearly 5 percent jump in retail sales, excluding cars, from Nov. 1 through Christmas Eve, as compared to the same time last year.

“Overall, this year was a big win for retail,” says Mastercard Senior Vice President Sarah Quinlan.

Actually, it’s an encouraging sign for the entire economy. And it comes amid a host of other welcome indicators.

US GDP, for example, is now on pace to grow at an annual rate of about 3 percent for the first three full quarters of President Trump’s term. Compare that to the less than 2 percent average annual growth under President Barack Obama.

Indeed, not a single year saw 3 percent growth or more under Obama, the only president in modern history with such a sorry record. Things may finally be turning around.

And Mastercard’s report comes on the heels of one by the Atlanta Federal Reserve, which noted a spike in consumer outlays in November and orders for capital goods up as well, for the 10th straight month.

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