Why is retail spending so important in the US? As the holiday season is almost upon us, the markets will be laser-focused on retail data as it emerges. As government activity typically slows to a crawl over the holidays and there are no corporate earnings in sight, many believe seasonal spending numbers are the only thing to watch. But it's much more than that. Retail spending is typically 70% of GDP in the US. It's not the big companies building fancy manufacturing plants or even the government building aircraft carriers that drive the US economy - it's families going to the mall on Saturday. Moreover, if consumers spend big over the holidays, companies are more likely to hire at the beginning of 2014. More hires mean more consumers with money and more expansion opportunities for businesses, which in turn means more spending!