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U.S. retail sales to near $5 trillion in 2016

Staff writer ▼ | December 23, 2015
Retail sales in the U.S. grew 3.3% this year, eMarketer estimates, and growth will pick up slightly next year to 3.5%.
Retail sales U.S.
Retail   Retail sales in the U.S. grew 3.3% this year
According to eMarketer’s latest forecast of retail and ecommerce sales around the world, total retail sales in North America reached $5.254 trillion, including $4.785 trillion in sales in the U.S. alone.

More than a fifth of the world’s retail sales occurred in the U.S. this year. In 2016, U.S. retail sales will approach $5 trillion in value.

Despite steady growth of 3%, which puts the U.S. ahead of Canada’s rate of increase, the country’s retail market will lose share of the worldwide total over eMarketer’s forecast period as the retail sector in developing markets grows more quickly.

The vast majority of the nearly $5 trillion in U.S. retail sales occur in stores. This year, retail ecommerce accounted for just 7.1% of all retail sales in the US—though that share is growing. By 2019, eMarketer estimates, 9.8% of U.S. retail sales will be transacted over the internet.

The U.S., where this share is in line with the North American average, is slightly behind Western Europe, where 7.5% of retail sales were transacted online this year. In Asia-Pacific, the share is 10.2%, the highest in the world.