NRF Projects 4.1 Percent Retail Sales Growth for 2015

2/13/2015
The National Retail Federation's 2015 economic forecast projectis that retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) will increase 4.1 percent*, up from the 3.5 percent growth seen in 2014. NRF also announced that it expects non-store sales in 2015 to grow between 7 and 10 percent. The 4.1 percent increase would mark the biggest annual growth since 2011 when retail sales for the year increased 5.1 percent.

"Already facing far fewer obstacles than this time last year in terms of growth opportunities, retailers are optimistic about the potential that exists for healthy growth in retail sales and consumer engagement in 2015," said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. "While our outlook for the year ahead is positive, we aren’t quite out of the woods; in order to see continued momentum we need a commitment from our leaders in Washington to pass legislation that will encourage investment, create jobs and set us on the path towards sustained, long-term economic growth."

"The economy appears to finally have gained some real traction and after a somewhat turbulent 2014, we expect to see continued gains in economic activity in the year ahead," said NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. "While Americans are benefiting from a pickup in wages and jobs and gains in the U.S. stock market, economic slack has been reduced.  We still, however, have a ways to go in order to achieve sustainable economic growth. There are a few wild cards that the retailers will need to keep an eye on, like global economic growth, energy prices and even inflation."

Additional economic insights from the National Retail Federation include:
  • A baseline outlook for growth in the economy as measured by GDP is expected to land between 2.7 and 3.2 percent over last year;
  • Growth in the labor market should average between 220,000 – 230,000 new jobs per month throughout the year;
  • Unemployment is expected to drop to 5 percent by year’s end;
  • Gains in equities and housing have boosted net worth to record levels, helping consumers feel more confident about household spending.
Additionally, January retail sales released by the National Retail Federation, which excludes automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, increased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 3.7 unadjusted year-over-year. Today’s results confirm holiday sales growth of 4 percent.  

The U.S. Commerce Department said on Thursday that January retail sales decreased 0.8 percent over the previous month seasonally adjusted, and increased 3.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
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