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'Tis the season to be jolly: NRF places holiday sales growth at 36%


WASHINGTON - The National Retail Federation announced earlier this week it expects sales in November and December, excluding autos, gas and restaurant sales, to increase a solid 3.6% to $655.8 billion — significantly higher than the 10-year average of 2.5% and above the seven-year average of 3.4% since recovery began in 2009.

Additionally, NRF is forecasting non-store sales to increase between 7% and 10% to as much as $117 billion.

“All of the fundamentals are in a good place, giving strength to consumers and leading us to believe that this will be a very positive holiday season,” stated Matthew Shay, president and CEO NRF. “This year hasn’t been perfect, starting with a long summer and unseasonably warm fall, but our forecast reflects the very realistic steady momentum of the economy and industry expectations.”

“Consumers have seen steady job and income gains throughout the year, resulting in continued confidence and the greater use of credit, which bodes well for more spending throughout the holiday season,” added Jack Kleinhenz, NRF chief economist. “Increased geopolitical uncertainty, the presidential election outcome and unseasonably warm weather are the main issues at play with the greatest potential to shake consumer confidence and impact shopping patterns,” he said. “However, the economic spending power of the consumer is resilient and it should never be underestimated.”

NRF’s holiday sales forecast is based on an economic model using several indicators including, consumer credit, disposable personal income and previous monthly retail sales releases. The overall forecast includes the non-store category (direct-to-consumer, kiosks and online sales.)


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