NRF Forecasts Double-Digit Retail Growth

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With the nation’s economy continuing to show strength the National Retail Federation (NRF) has upped its yearly forecast of retail sales, predicting double-digit growth.

The NRF is now anticipating retail sales growth of between 10.5% and 13.5% to more than $4.44 million. The revised forecast is above the original projection of 6.5% growth. 

“The economy and consumer spending have proven to be much more resilient than initially forecasted,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the NRF. “The combination of vaccine distribution, fiscal stimulus and private-sector ingenuity have put millions of Americans back to work.”

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The initial forecast released in February was made when there was still great uncertainty about consumer spending, vaccine distribution, virus infection rates and additional fiscal stimulus, prior to the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act.  

Non-store and online sales, which are included in the total figure, are expected to grow between 18% and 23% to a range of $1.09 trillion to $1.13 trillion as consumers continue to utilize e-commerce.

“We are seeing clear signs of a strong and resilient economy,” said Jack Kleinhenz, the NRF’s chief economist. “Incoming data suggests that U.S. economic activity continues to expand rapidly, and we have seen impressive growth. Most indicators point toward an energetic expansion over the upcoming months and through the remainder of the year.” 

Given the strength of consumer spending, Kleinhenz noted he anticipates the fastest growth the U.S. has experienced since 1984. The reopening of the economy has accelerated much faster than most had believed possible, even a year ago.