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NRF Predicts Rise in Holiday Sales

Job growth and higher wages have lifted Americans’ spending power, federation says.
Oct 6, 2019 7:57 AM   By Rapaport News
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The National Retail Federation (NRF) has forecast a strong rise in US holiday sales, as a healthy economy outweighs tariff fears in the short term.

Retail sales in November and December are expected to advance 3.8% to 4.2% year on year, for a total of between $727.9 billion and $730.7 billion, the organization noted. The average increase over the past five years was 3.7%, it added.

“There is significant economic unease, but current economic data and the recent momentum of the economy show that we can expect a much stronger holiday season than last year,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said last week. “Job growth and higher wages mean there’s more money in families’ pockets, so we see both the willingness and ability to spend this holiday season.”

However, the NRF is not certain how the trade war and the tariffs will influence total purchasing. 

“Retailers are using a myriad of mitigation tactics to limit the impact on consumers, and the impact will ultimately vary by company and product,” the NRF explained.

Some 79% of consumers the federation surveyed in September expressed concern that tariffs would cause prices to rise, noting that this could affect their approach to shopping. However, retailers believe the steady economy will help boost sales.

“The US economy is continuing to grow, and consumer spending is still the primary engine behind that growth,” NRF CEO Matthew Shay said last week. “Consumers are in good financial shape, and retailers expect a strong holiday season.”

The NRF predicts online and other non-store sales will increase 11% to 14% to between $162.6 billion and $166.9 billion.

Image: Holiday gifts. (Pixabay)
Tags: holiday sales, Jack Kleinhenz, Matthew Shay, National Retail Federation, NRF, Rapaport News
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