There is an anticipated growth of anywhere between 3.8 and 4.4 percent in 2018 compared to 2017 in retail industry sales in the U.S., according to an economic forecast by the National Retail Federation. There is an anticipated increase of anywhere between 10 per cent and 12 per cent in 2018 in the sale of online and other non-store sales. These sales were included in the overall projection number.
According to the U.S. Census bureau’s preliminary estimate for the year, compared to 2016, there was a growth of 3.9 per cent in the industry in 2017 in retail sales. While this number is liable to be revised in the future, the number is more than the 3.2 and 3.8 percent growth rate as forecast by NRF.
“A robust holiday season for retail sales is just one of many barometers that points to a consumer that is clearly feeling positive about their financial health,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Despite headlines to the contrary, the retail industry is strong, growing and meeting consumer demand with the products they want at the prices they expect and the shopping experience they want to have, online or in store. With consumer confidence high, unemployment low and wages growing, there is every reason to believe that retail sales will be robust throughout the year.”
“The underpinnings of the economy are very good and consumer spending is at the center of our outlook,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “The push and pull of forces both external and internal to the U.S. economy will continue to provide challenges, but on balance we expect a good year. And as the retail industry continues to transform, retailers will leverage the new tax plan to invest in their employees, stores and new formats that engage with the ever-evolving and demanding consumer.”
The report by the organization also forecast that an average of 163,000 jobs a month of jobs would be gained by the overall economy in 2018 which is but slightly lower than what was gained in 2017. However, the number is in line with the labor market growth.
The organization also forecast a drop in the rate of unemployment to about 3.9 percent by the end of 2018. On the other hand, 2.5 per cent and 3 per cent would be the range of growth for the gross domestic product as forecast by the organization.
There are a large number of business activities that are included in the definition of retail industry according to the NRF and encompasses businesses related to the traditional retail categories and non-store sales, discounters, department stores, grocery stores, specialty stores, and auto parts and accessories stores but exclude sales at automotive dealers, gasoline stations, and restaurants. Online sales, kiosks, catalogs, mail order and vending machines are included in the non-store sales.
discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores are represented by NRF which is also the largest retail trade association of the world.
(Adapted from Businesswire.com)