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Holiday sales predicted to grow by 3.8 to 4.2 percent

By Robyn Turk


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The National Retail Federation expects retail sales made during the holiday season between November and December to increase between 3.8 and 4.2 percent in the U.S., compared to results from 2018. If the NRF's predictions are correct, holiday spending will grow to a total somewhere between 727.9 billion and 730.7 billion dollars.

Holiday sales during the 2018 season totaled to 701.2 billion dollars, which was an unusually small increase of 2.1 percent from the year before. The NRF attributed this to the government shutdown, stock market volatility and tariffs, among other socioeconomic issues.

The NRF based its holiday forecast on an economic model that considers indicators such as employment, wages, consumer confidence, disposable income, consumer credit and previous retail sales.

“The U.S. economy is continuing to grow and consumer spending is still the primary engine behind that growth,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. “Nonetheless, there has clearly been a slowdown brought on by considerable uncertainty around issues including trade, interest rates, global risk factors and political rhetoric. Consumers are in good financial shape and retailers expect a strong holiday season. However, confidence could be eroded by continued deterioration of these and other variables.”

The NRF also said that it expects online and other non-store sales to increase by 11 percent to 14 percent in 2019, which would bring these sales from last year's total of 146.5 billion dollars to somewhere between 162.6 billion to 166.9 billion dollars.

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