The National Retail Federation announced its holiday retail sales for November and December. It is expecting an increase of 3.6% to 4% for a total of $678.75 billion to $682 billion, up from $655.80 billion last year.
“Our forecast reflects the very realistic steady momentum of the economy and overall strength of the industry,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in a press release. “Although this year hasn’t been perfect, especially with the recent devastating hurricanes, we believe that a longer shopping season and strong consumer confidence will deliver retailers a strong holiday season.”
With Christmas falling 32 days after Thanksgiving this year and on a Monday, it gives consumers an extra weekend day to complete their shopping. This year’s forecast is expected to exceed the five-year forecast average of 3.5%
“Consumers continue to do the heavy lifting in supporting our economy, and all the fundamentals are aligned for them to continue doing so during the holidays,” said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. “The combination of job creation, improved wages, tame inflation and an increase in net worth all provide the capacity and the confidence to spend.”