Estimates from research firms studying the retail market indicate sales growth during the holidays in 2016 may be the best since 2005. That’s according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported: “American consumers are once again proving many of the pundits wrong, as shoppers flock both to websites and to stores — and not just for returns,” said Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners. “They are shopping at a rate not seen since the mid-2000s.”

Customer Growth Partners now expects holiday sales growth to come in at 4.9 percent, up from 4.1 percent. That would represent the largest growth since 2005 when sales increased 6.1 percent. Post-Christmas sales were not as strong as expected, but overall, December saw the consumer confidence index reach its highest level since August 2001.

“Consumer confidence improved further in December, due solely to increasing expectations, which hit a 13-year high (December 2003, 107.4),” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, in the press release. “The post-election surge in optimism for the economy, jobs and income prospects, as well as for stock prices, which reached a 13-year high, was most pronounced among older consumers. Consumers’ assessment of current conditions, which declined, still suggests that economic growth continued through the final months of 2016.” Read more at