NRF Forecasts Holiday Retail Sales to Increase Between 4.3 and 4.8 Percent 

The following article is based on a press release issued by The National Retail Federation on October 3, 2018.

October 3, 2018 | The National Retail Federation (NRF) expects holiday retail sales in November and December to increase between 4.3 and 4.8 percent over 2017, amounting to total sales between $717.45 billion and $720.89 billion for the season. The forecast compares with an average annual increase of 3.9 percent over the past five years.

“Our forecast reflects the overall strength of the [retail] industry,” Matthew Shay, NRF’s president and CEO, said in a press release. “Thanks to a healthy economy and strong consumer confidence, we believe that this holiday season will continue to reflect the growth we’ve seen over the past year. While there is concern about the impacts of an escalating trade war, we are optimistic that the pace of economic activity will continue to increase through the end of the year.”

Holiday sales in 2017 totaled $687.87 billion, a 5.3 percent increase over the year before and the largest increase since the 5.2 percent year-over-year gain seen in 2010 after the end of the Great Recession.

The holiday forecast is consistent with NRF’s estimate that annual retail sales for 2018 will increase at least 4.5 percent over 2017.

NRF’s holiday forecast is based on an economic model using several indicators including consumer credit, disposable personal income, and previous monthly retail sales. The number includes online and other non-store sales, but excludes excluding automobiles, gasoline, and restaurants.

The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries.