NRF Boosts Retail Sales Forecast
The National Retail Federation (NRF) raised its full-year sales forecast to 3.4 percent growth, up slightly from its previous expectation for a 3.1 percent lift. It cited improvements in the housing market, job growth and higher wages as three factors that should boost consumer sentiment through the end of the year. A larger-than-expected lift in online sales is likewise expected to drive additional growth, with the NRF now calling for a 7 percent to 10 percent increase in digital revenue. That compares with its prior forecast for a 6 percent to 9 percent lift.
Total Retail's Take: This is certainly welcome news for retailers as they look to end the year on a strong note. It will be interesting to see if this momentum continues following back-to-school season, and before retailers transition into full holiday mode. I'm also curious as to how the result of November's presidential election will impact consumer confidence and spending, especially during the critical holiday season.