By CBSMiami.com Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The day after Christmas brought out big crowds to shopping centers.

“They are pretty packed. I went into Lululemon, it’s very crowded lots of sales going on because Christmas is over,” said Natalie Winzenread.

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New numbers from Mastercard Spending Pulse say holiday sales rose eight and a half percent from last year.

That’s the fastest pace in 17 years even as shoppers faced higher prices, product shortages, and the Omicron variant.

Purchases of clothing and jewelry fueled the surge.

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“Last year COVID had all the stores shut down, people couldn’t go out and buy stuff, now you can go and go and buy stuff,” said shopper Maria Frye.

Some shoppers said they started shopping early as analysts had expected.

“I started Christmas shopping like in October, like the end of September, October,” said TJ.

Official numbers from the National Retail Federation will be released next month.

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Overall, market analysts say Americans weathered the storm and will likely continue spending big on retail.

CBSMiami.com Team