Holiday Retail Sales Predicted to Top $1.1 Trillion, Deloitte Says

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Overall holiday retail sales are expected to increase between 4.5% to 5% this holiday season, according to Deloitte’s annual forecast, passing $1.1 trillion in sales from November through January.

Deloitte predicts ecommerce sales will increase 14%-18% this holiday season, a significant bump from 11.2% in 2018, reaching between $144 to $149 billion.

“The projected holiday season growth is due in part to the current health of the labor market,” said Daniel Bachman, Deloitte’s U.S. economic forecaster. “New record-low unemployment rates, coupled with continued monthly job creation may encourage people to spend more during the holiday season.”

With a still-growing economy, albeit at a slower rate, Deloitte sees strong consumer confidence which helps boost holiday retail sales.

“The 2019 holiday season increase reflects expectations for consistent growth throughout the season,” said Bachman. “However, because last year’s holiday sales came in lower than expected in December, the 2019 forecast predicts a strong growth rate in comparison to 2018’s more modest growth.”

Last December, the government shutdown, an uptick in consumer savings and a sharp stock market decline contributed to lower than expected holiday sales.

“Based on the growth in consumer disposable income and spending indicators, retailers across channels should expect a strong holiday season in 2019,” said Rod Sides, vice chairman of Deloitte LLP and U.S. retail and distribution sector leader. “We’ve seen retailers continue to improve the customer experience, invest in the fundamentals and leverage relationships with innovative startups to boost engagement and efficiency.”

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