NRF Predicts Retail Sales Will Increase Up to 4.2%
The National Retail Federation (NRF) reports retail sales are projected to increase between 3.7 percent and 4.2 percent over 2016 sales. This estimate excludes sales from gas stations, automobiles and restaurants. Online and other non-store sales are expected to increase between 8 percent and 12 percent. “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 in a statement to the press. "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 the 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 being debated in Congress."
Total Retail's Take: While there has been a lot of news of retailers closing stores and going out of business, it's reassuring to hear that 2017 looks like a positive year for sales. In fact, retail sales have been on the uptick for 15 years now, mostly due to the prominent growth of e-commerce. The retailers that have benefitted the most thus far are the ones that have embraced shifting consumer behavior to more digital shopping.