‘Tis the season to spend: shopping statistics from previous holiday seasons

This information was collected by the U.S. Census Bureau.

U.S. Census Bureau Facts and Figures: The 2007 Holiday Season

$20 billion: The number of letters, packages and cards the U.S. Postal Service delivered between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2006. The busiest mailing day last year was Dec. 18, with more than twice as many cards and letters being processed as the average on any given day, according to the U.S. Postal Service.

$12 million: The number of packages delivered by the U.S. Postal Service every day during the holiday season last year through Christmas Eve. The busiest delivery day is Dec. 20, according to the U.S. Postal Service.

$31.4 billion: Retail sales by the nation’s department stores in December 2006. This represented a 44 percent jump from the previous month (when sales, many holiday-related, were $21.8 billion). No other month-to-month increase in department store sales last year was as large, according to Service Sector Statistics.

$1.7 million: The number of people employed at department stores in December 2006. Retail employment typically swells during the holiday season. Last year, it rose by an estimated 40,600 employees from November and 174,700 employees from October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

$21 billion: Value of retail sales by electronic shopping and mail orders in December 2006, the highest total for any month that year, according to Service Sector Statistics.

$512 million: The gross earnings of Christmas tree farmers in 2006 with North Carolina ($134 million) as the top producer. Oregon was next at $121 million in sales, according to USDA Economic Research Service.

$3.3 billion: The value of U.S. toy imports including stuffed toys (excluding dolls), puzzles and electric trains from China between January and June 2007. China was the leading country of origin for stuffed toys coming into this country, as well as many other popular holiday gifts. These include roller skates ($79 million), sports footwear ($193 million), golf equipment ($36 million) and basketballs ($23 million). China leads Canada as the leading supplier of ice skates ($6.6 million versus $3.8 million), with Thailand ranking third ($2.8 million), according to Foreign Trade Statistics.

Taken from www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/11-07-2007/0004699849&EDATE=

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