By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There is some good financial news ahead of the new year. Holiday retail sales are about 3% higher this year compared to 2019.

That’s according to a report from Mastercard SpendingPulse.

Online spending is up 49%, and the pandemic appears to be boosting sales of furniture and home improvement items.

Meanwhile, department stores and clothing brands are struggling.

More people also bought holiday gifts in advance this year instead of waiting until the last minute.

Experts say that might be because of a longer shopping season.

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