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.

READ MORE: 2022 On Pace To Be Even Deadlier Year In Philadelphia Than Record-Setting 2021

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.

READ MORE: Sesame Place Announces Changes To Diversity Programs After Recent High-Profile Racial Incidents

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

MORE ON CBSPHILLY.COM

Federal Judge Rejects Restaurants’ Challenge Of Indoor Dining Ban In Pennsylvania

Amid Skepticism, ER Doctor Wants To Educate Black Community About Vaccine’s Safety

MORE NEWS: Philadelphia's Black And Mobile, 3 Years After Launch, Continues To Link Up With More Black-Owned Restaurants

Philadelphia Eagles’ Playoff Hopes Dashed In 37-17 Loss To Dallas Cowboys