NEW YORK — A payment technology firm says that holiday spending is surging in the days before Christmas.

First Data said Friday that overall spending, excluding gas, rose 9.2 percent from Nov. 1 through Monday, outpacing the 3.7 percent pace for the year-ago period. The company analyzes online and in-store payments for 1.3 million merchants.

Retail spending, which excludes grocery stores, restaurants, auto parts merchants and gas stations, is up 6.6 percent, more than the 2 percent growth for the year-ago period.

Online sales growth continues to outpace brick-and-mortar growth, at 11 percent compared with 5.4 percent for stores.

Cooler weather, rising consumer confidence and low unemployment are enticing shoppers to spend.

The report comes as Commerce Department released data Friday showing that Americans stepped up their overall spending last month.

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ANNE D'INNOCENZIO
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