NRF forecasts retail sales will increase
The National Retail Federation (NRF) has released its economic forecast for 2017, projecting that retail industry sales will grow between 3.7 and 4.2% over 2016. Online and other non-store/online sales, which are included in the overall number, are expected to increase between 8 and 12%
“The economy is on firm ground as we head into 2017 and is expected to build on the momentum we saw late last year,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “With jobs and income growing and debt relatively low, the fundamentals are in place and the consumer is in the driver’s seat. But this year is unlike any other - while consumers have strength they haven’t had in the past, they will remain hesitant to spend until they have more certainty about policy changes on taxes, trade and other issues currently being debated.”
“Prospects for consumer spending are straightforward - more jobs and more income will result in more spending,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Regardless of sentiment, the pace of wage growth and job creation dictate spending. Our forecast represents a baseline for the year, but potential fiscal policy changes could impact consumers and the economy.
“It is also clear that online sales will continue to expand in 2017 and provide growth for the retail industry. But it is important to realise that virtually every major retailer sells online and many of those sales will be made by discount stores, department stores and other traditional retailers. Retailers sell to consumers however they want to buy, whether it’s in-store, online or mobile.”
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing 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.