Market Overview

NRF Predicts 3.7% Increase In Holiday Sales This Year, Significantly Higher Than 10-Year Average

NRF Predicts 3.7% Increase In Holiday Sales This Year, Significantly Higher Than 10-Year Average
  • The National Retail Federation (NRF) is projecting holiday sales will increase 3.7 percent from a year ago.
  • Shares of the Retail ETF, SPDR S&P Retail (ETF) (NYSE: XRT) gained more than 1 percent Thursday morning while the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) traded lower by 0.2 percent.
  • Holiday sales of $630.5 billion is expected to represent approximately 19 percent of the retail industry's total annual sales of $3.2 trillion.

Black Friday unofficially marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. With just over a month left before Thanksgiving, retail investors should start planning ahead and a recent forecast from the National Retail Federation may paint a bullish picture for the sector.

The NRF reported in a press release on Thursday that it is expecting total retail sales during the holiday shopping season (defined as sales in November and December and excludes auto, gas, and restaurant sales) is expected to increase by 3.7 percent to $630.5 billion - significantly higher than the 10-year average of 2.5 percent. Online sales are expected to increase between 6 and 8 percent to as much as $105 billion.

Related Link: Your Holiday Wishes Can Come True, Just Budget

The report cited "improved" economic indicators, but did note that consumers are still "somewhat torn between their desire and their ability to spend." Accordingly, families are expected to spend "prudently and deliberately."

"Price, value and even timing will all play a role in how, when, where and why people shop over the holiday season," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in the press release. "Retailers will be competitive not only on price, but on digital initiatives, store hours, product offerings and much more."

Holiday sales in 2014 rose 4.1 percent year-over-year.

NRF's Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz added that similar to last year, this year's holiday season "brings to light several crosscurrents that still exist for American households." He added that "while confidence data is encouraging, slower job growth in 2015, deflationary retail prices and the mix of consumer spending somewhat shifting toward big ticket items and services, as well as the wild card in our government spending debates, will all contribute to the slower growth rate of sales expected for the holiday season."

NRF is expecting retailers to hire between 700,000 and 750,000 season workers during the holiday season, a figure that is roughly in-line with last year's 714,000 new seasonal positions that were created.

Posted-In: Ecommerce Sales holiday sales National Retail Federation NRF retail salesPreviews Economics Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga


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