US retail sales to increase by up to 4.4% in 2018

By Pouyan Broukhim

In a new report, the National Retail Federation (NRF) has forecast that US retail sales will grow by between 3.8% and 4.4% during the course of 2018.

This represents a fairly conservative estimate, with US retail sales having grown 3.9% throughout 2017 when compared to 2016, totalling $3.53tn, according to data from the US census bureau.

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“Despite headlines to the contrary, the retail industry is strong, growing and meeting consumer demand with the products they want at the prices they expect and the shopping experience they want to have, online or in store,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

The NRF suggests that this growth in sales and consumer confidence will continue to be driven by strong performance throughout the US economy throughout 2018. It predicts that, on average, the US will gain a further 163,000 jobs monthly, with unemployment predicted to drop as low as 3.9% by the years end, whilst wages are also expected to climb.

Further, the NRF expects that the new corporate tax reforms will allow businesses to invest heavily into their employees, stores, and products.

“The underpinnings of the economy are very good and consumer spending is at the center of our outlook,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “The push and pull of forces both external and internal to the U.S. economy will continue to provide challenges, but on balance we expect a good year.”

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