Americans Rebuff Omicron as Activity Picked Up in Christmas Week
Americans didn’t let omicron stop them from going out for some last-minute holiday shopping and entertainment.
Activity at businesses including restaurants and retail stores increased as much as 4.8% in the week leading up to Christmas compared with the beginning of the month, according to figures from SafeGraph, which tracks mobile-phone geolocation data. Foot traffic peaked mid-week before declining on Dec. 24 as some shops closed for the holidays.
The figures add to recent signs that U.S. consumers have been eager to got out in spite of the emergence of the highly contagious omicron variant about a month ago.
Economists broadly expect consumer spending to hold up well into 2022 as savings are unleashed and the tight labor market provides support. Jobs demand in particular is elevated: Filings for unemployment benefits fell unexpectedly last week despite the rise in Covid-19 cases.
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