USA: Retail Sales are forecasted to grow 3.1 per cent in 2016
The National Retail Federation released its 2016 economic forecast today, projecting retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) will grow 3.1 per cent, higher than the 10-year average of 2.7 percent. NRF also announced today it expects non-store sales in 2016 to grow between 6 and 9 per cent.
“The consumer is in the driver’s seat and steering our economic recovery. The best thing the government can do is stay out of the way. Wage stagnation is easing, jobs are being created and consumer confidence remains steady, so despite the headwinds our economy faces from international developments — particularly in China — we think 2016 will be favorable for growth in the retail industry,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “
All experts agree that the consumer is in the driver’s seat and steering economic recovery. The NRF advocates that the best thing the government can do is stay out of the way, stop proposing rules and regulations that create hurdles toward greater capital investment and focus on policies that help retailers provide increased income and job stability for their employees.
According to the NRF, the economy had a bumpy ride in 2015. Howecer, despite the volatility, the economy continued to reduce unemployment, raise wages and actually increase real GDP by 2.4 per cent. Lower gas prices are creating more discretionary income to save, pay down debt and spend on travel, eating out and personal services. Retailers have benefited as well, and continue to find ways to compete and succeed in a very cost-conscious environment.”
Additional economic insights:
- Employment gains of approximately 190,000 on an average monthly basis are expected. While that pace is down from 2015, it is consistent with the labor market growing near its underlying trend. By year-end, unemployment should drop to 4.6 percent.
- Prospects for consumer spending are straightforward — more jobs equals more income, which equals more spending. However, spending will come largely from the growth in jobs and not as much from increased wages.
Retail according to the NRF:
Retail industry sales according to NRF include most traditional retail categories, including auto parts and accessories stores, non-store categories, discounters, department stores, grocery stores and specialty stores, and exclude sales at automotive dealers, gas stations and restaurants.
About the NRF
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Total annual U.S. retail sales have increased an average of 4.5% between 1993 and 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
About US Retail
In 2015 total retail sales reached US$ 4,694 billion up from 4,629 billion according to the latest figures of the US Census Bureau. Total e-Commerce reached 341 billion against 297 billion in 2014, a share of 7.3% against 6.4% in 2014. The US retail sector employs 29 million people directly and has a share of 7,5% in total US GDP.