A 4.1 percent increase would mark the biggest annual growth since 2011 when retail sales for the year increased 5.1 percent. The forecast excludes automobiles, gas stations and restaurants.
The NRF also says that it expects non-store sales in 2015 to grow between 7 and 10 percent.
“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,” says Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist, NRF. “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.”
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