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Holiday retail sales in November and December are expected to increase between 4.3 and 4.8 percent over last year. This is according to a recent forecast from the National Retail Federation (NRF). That strong holiday spending would equate to total sales of about $717 billion to $721 billion this year.
“Our forecast reflects the overall strength of the industry,” said Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO.
“Thanks to a healthy economy and strong consumer confidence, we believe that this holiday season will continue to reflect the growth we’ve seen over the past year. While there is concern about the impacts of an escalating trade war, we are optimistic that the pace of economic activity will continue to increase through the end of the year.”
Holiday sales in 2017 totaled nearly $688 billion. That is a 5.3 percent increase over the year before and the largest increase since the 5.2 percent gain in 2010.
NRF’s forecast for strong holiday spending is based on an economic model using several indicators. They include consumer credit, disposable personal income and previous monthly retail sales. The forecast includes online and other non-store sales, as well.
Retail is actually growing faster than the rest of the economy at large, according to research from IHL Group. While the lines between digital and physical shopping experiences are blurring, stores are not going away. IHL data shows that for every single retailer closing stores, two others are opening stores. The group expects stores to be involved in 81 percent of all retail sales in 2021.