Executive Briefings

Retail Sales Growth of 3.4 Percent Predicted for This Year

The National Retail Federation released its 2013 economic forecast, projecting retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) will increase 3.4 percent*, slightly less than the preliminary 4.2 percent growth seen in 2012. The subdued forecast comes on the heels of a holiday season that went head-to-head with Washington's political wrangling over fiscal concerns, shifting consumers' spending plans downward. In the end, holiday sales in 2012 grew 3.0 percent.

Shop.org, NRF's digital division, expects online sales in 2013 to grow between 9 percent and 12 percent. Online sales in 2012 during the months of November and December last year grew 11.1 percent.

"What we witnessed during the holiday season is an indication of what we are likely to see in 2013. Consumers read troubling economic headlines every day and look at their bottom lines at the end of the month, and they don't like what they see," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "Pushing fiscal policy decisions down the road will lead to even greater uncertainty, and will continue to impact consumers' desire and ability to spend on discretionary items. The administration and congress need to pursue and enact policies that lead to growth and economic expansion, or it could be another challenging year for retailers and consumers alike.

"Retailers will compensate for the drag on household spending this year by managing inventories and focusing on providing value for their shoppers through unique promotions in stores and online and exclusive product lines," said Shay.

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Shop.org, NRF's digital division, expects online sales in 2013 to grow between 9 percent and 12 percent. Online sales in 2012 during the months of November and December last year grew 11.1 percent.

"What we witnessed during the holiday season is an indication of what we are likely to see in 2013. Consumers read troubling economic headlines every day and look at their bottom lines at the end of the month, and they don't like what they see," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "Pushing fiscal policy decisions down the road will lead to even greater uncertainty, and will continue to impact consumers' desire and ability to spend on discretionary items. The administration and congress need to pursue and enact policies that lead to growth and economic expansion, or it could be another challenging year for retailers and consumers alike.

"Retailers will compensate for the drag on household spending this year by managing inventories and focusing on providing value for their shoppers through unique promotions in stores and online and exclusive product lines," said Shay.

Read Full Article