While it's only early October, retailers are already focused on the holiday season. The National Retail Federation announced yesterday it expects sales in November and December to increase 3.6 percent year-over-year to $655.8 billion — significantly higher than the 10-year average of 2.5 percent. The NRF also forecasts e-commerce and catalog sales will increase 7 percent to 10 percent during the holiday season. In 2015, holiday sales increased 3.2 percent over the previous year.
Total Retail's Take: Tis the season for spending! In addition to increased holiday sales, the NRF estimates between 640,000 and 690,000 seasonal positions will be filled by retailers this season. The NRF's positive outlook is based on lower unemployment, low interest rates and growing consumer confidence. However, analysts are quick to point out that confidence can be easily shaken. The No.1 variable retailers have to consider? The presidential election. Historically, time of political unease can drastically impact consumer spending. Check out below for the full report.