U.S. retail sales to rise 4.1%Staff writer ▼ | October 8, 2014
U.S. retail sales are expected to rise 4.1 percent this holiday season to $616.9 billion, outpacing last year's gains, though economic concerns may affect shoppers' spending, the world's largest retail trade body said.
Holiday season The National Retail Federation:
"Retailers could see a welcome boost in holiday shopping, giving some companies the shot in the arm they need after a volatile first half of the year and an uneventful summer,” NRF's president and chief executive officer, Matthew Shay, said in a statement.
Last month, the U.S. Commerce Department said that American families spent 0.5 percent more in August than the month before. Incomes rose 0.3 percent following a 0.2 percent rise the month before, indicating the U.S. economy could be shifting into a higher gear.
"While expectations for sales growth are upbeat, it goes without saying there still remains some uneasiness and anxiety among consumers when it comes to their purchase decisions," Shay said.
NRF's Shop.org division forecast an increase of 8 to 11 percent in online holiday sales to as much as $105 billion. Comparative figures from the same period a year ago were not immediately available.
The NRF's forecast is in line with Deloitte, which expected sales to rise by 4 to 4.5 percent for November-to-January, versus 2.8 percent growth a year earlier. It is, however, more optimistic than the forecast of AlixPartners, which projected gains of 3.2 percent to 3.8 percent in 2014.
The NRF forecast excludes sales at automotive dealers, gas stations and restaurants. ■