Market Overview

NRF Forecasts Holiday Sales to Increase Between 3.6 and 4 Percent


The National Retail Federation announced today that it expects holiday
retail sales in November and December – excluding automobiles, gasoline
and restaurants – to increase between 3.6 and 4 percent for a total of
$678.75 billion to $682 billion, up from $655.8 billion last year.

"Our forecast reflects the very realistic steady momentum of the economy
and overall strength of the industry," NRF President and CEO Matthew
Shay said. "Although this year hasn't been perfect, especially with the
recent devastating hurricanes, we believe that a longer shopping season
and strong consumer confidence will deliver retailers a strong holiday

Christmas falls 32 days after Thanksgiving this year, one day more than
last year, and is on a Monday instead of Sunday, giving consumers an
extra weekend day to complete their shopping.

This year's forecast would meet or exceed last year's growth of 3.6
percent and the five-year average of 3.5 percent. While recent
hurricanes are not expected to have a significant long-term effect on
the economy, NRF is issuing this year's forecast as a range rather than
the usual fixed percentage because the impact of the storms on economic
indicators has made it difficult to make a more precise forecast.

"Consumers continue to do the heavy lifting in supporting our economy,
and all the fundamentals are aligned for them to continue doing so
during the holidays," NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. "The
combination of job creation, improved wages, tame inflation and an
increase in net worth all provide the capacity and the confidence to

NRF's forecast is based on an economic model using several indicators
including consumer credit, disposable personal income and previous
monthly retail sales. The overall number includes the non-store category
(direct-to-consumer, kiosks and online sales). For historic sales
information visit NRF's Holiday
 and the Retail
Insight Center

NRF Forecasts Seasonal Employment to Grow Between 500,000 and 550,000

The winter holidays are the busiest time of year for most retailers,
with the industry traditionally hiring extra staff to meet the demand.
As part of its forecast, NRF expects retailers to hire between 500,000
and 550,000 temporary workers this holiday season, down from last year's

NRF to Modify Thanksgiving Weekend Reporting

To more accurately capture the entirety of spending on Thanksgiving
weekend, NRF this year will release spending data on November 28, the
day after Cyber Monday. Doing so will allow NRF to provide a more
accurate picture of consumer activity over the entire weekend and
incorporate Cyber Monday data into the results. As consumer behavior
evolves, NRF will continue to focus its efforts on providing the most
relevant, accurate and insightful analysis of its impact on the retail

About NRF

NRF is the world's largest retail trade association, representing
discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main
Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet
retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is
the nation's largest private sector employer, supporting one in four
U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to
annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation's economy.


View Comments and Join the Discussion!