Retail trade association anticipates consumer spending will continue to increase.
With consumer spending expected to remain solid during the remainder of the year, 2016 retail sales are now expected to grow 3.4 percent over last year, instead of the 3.1 percent previously calculated, according to the National Retail Federation.
Online and other non-store sales, which are included in the overall figure, are also projected to increase 7-10 percent over last year rather than the 6-9 percent previously forecasted.
Looking back at the first half of 2016, retail sales performed at a solid pace and grew close to 4 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to NRF calculations, which exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.
“Economic indicators are showing positive trends for retail,” says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, NRF. “Challenges remain, with some greater than others depending on the retail category, but consumer confidence remains high and we believe that retail customers will continue the positive trends we have seen in the first two quarters of the year.”
Additionally, the NRF anticipates gross domestic product will grow between 1.9 and 2.4 percent.
“There are many factors that could prove to be hurdles but our overall outlook is optimistic,” says Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist, NRF. “Uncertainty surrounding the presidential election could make consumers more cautious, and the combination of a rising dollar and global slowdown have impacted exports, but other factors like favorable weather patterns that will help move winter merchandise support our outlook.”