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NRF Forecasts Retail Sales Will Increase in 2015

Feb 12, 2015 11:03 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... The National Retail Federation (NRF) forecast that retail industry sales, which exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, will increase 4.1 percent in 2014. Non-store sales in 2015 are forecast to grow between 7 and 10 percent.

“Already facing far fewer obstacles than this time last year in terms of growth opportunities, retailers are optimistic about the potential that exists for healthy growth in retail sales and consumer engagement in 2015,” said NRF's president and CEO, Matthew Shay. “While our outlook for the year ahead is positive, we aren’t quite out of the woods; in order to see continued momentum, we need a commitment from our leaders in Washington to pass legislation that will encourage investment, create jobs and set us on the path toward sustained, long-term economic growth.”

Jack Kleinhenz, NRF's chief economist, added, “The economy appears to finally have gained some real traction and after a somewhat turbulent 2014, we expect to see continued gains in economic activity in the year ahead. While Americans are benefiting from a pickup in wages and jobs and gains in the U.S. stock market, economic slack has been reduced.  We still, however, have a ways to go in order to achieve sustainable economic growth. There are a few wild cards that the retailers will need to keep an eye on, like global economic growth, energy prices and even inflation.”

The NRF explained that its outlook for growth in the economy, as measured by the gross domestic product (GDP), is expected to land between 2.7 percent and 3.2 percent over 2014. The labor market is expected to add between 220,000 and 230,000 new jobs each month and the unemployment rate is expected to drop to 5 percent by year’s end. Additionally, the NRF believed that "gains in equities and housing have boosted consumer net worth to record levels, helping shoppers to feel  more confident about household spending."


Tags: consumer, forecast, Jeff Miller, NRF, retail, sales, spending
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