Following a solid start to the holiday season, the National Retail Federation (NRF, Washington, D.C.) has revised its holidays sales forecast to 3.3 percent (which includes November and December), up from 2.3 percent. The upward revision is due to improvement in a variety of economic indicators including stock market gains, recent income growth and savings built up during the recession.
November retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) grew 0.8 percent seasonally adjusted over October and 6.8 percent unadjusted over last year.
“The start to the holiday season has surpassed all expectations,” says NRF president and ceo Matthew Shay. “While employment data is still a concern, we are starting to see improvement in other economic indicators that support an increase to our forecast. In order to sustain this momentum for retailers and the U.S. economy, there must be a renewed focus on jobs as we enter the new year.”
The U.S. Commerce Department reports that November total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) grew 0.8 percent seasonally adjusted over October and 9.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year.