US jewelry sales rose in May amid a return to in-person shopping and a surge in weddings and travel, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse. Revenue for the category jumped 22% year on year during the month, the highest growth of all segments Mastercard monitors, it reported Wednesday. The majority of weddings and social events were pushed back during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many consumers are now refreshing their wardrobes for the postponed gatherings. Jewelry purchases surged 65% compared to the same period of 2019. “More gatherings require more looks,” Mastercard noted. “With weddings, events and vacations lined up for the foreseeable future, the demand for apparel...shows no sign of slowing.” Total spending in May was up 11% from 2021 and 21% versus the same period three years ago. E-commerce sales grew 2.2% year on year, while in-store revenue gained 13%. Online soared 99% compared to 2019, with brick-and-mortar revenue increasing 14%. Those figures are outpacing the year-on-year growth seen so far in 2022, Mastercard explained. “The continued retail sales momentum in May aligns with the sustained growth rates we’ve seen so far this year,” said Michelle Meyer, US chief economist for Mastercard Economics Institute. “The consumer has been resilient, spending on goods and increasingly services as the economy continues to rebalance.” Sales advanced across all segments Mastercard covers. Following jewelry, luxury goods — excluding jewelry — saw the sharpest increase compared to last year, up 20%. Spending on restaurants increased 18% and apparel gained 17%. Mastercard expects sales for the back-to-school period to rise 7.5% year on year and 18% relative to pre-pandemic 2019, it added.
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