Washington – The National Retail Federation (NRF) is forecasting a 4.1 percent increase in November-December sell-through, marking the highest holiday gain since 2011.
The projection mirrors a recent study by retail consultancy Deloitte pointing to a 4 to 4.5 percent increase in holiday sales this year.
Last week the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) similarly forecast the highest levels of consumer spending on CE since 1994, with holiday tech sales projected to rise 2.5 percent to a record $44.8 billion, compared to last year’s 0.9 percent gain.
Separately, the NRF also anticipates online sales to rise between 8 and 11 percent this holiday season.
“Consumers are in a much better place than they were this time last year, and the extra spending power could very well translate into solid holiday sales growth for retailers,” said Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist for the retail trade group.
But NRF president/CEO Matthew Shay noted that shoppers will remain “extremely price sensitive” and that retailers will respond by differentiating themselves through price, value and exclusivity.
The projected 4.1 percent increase surpasses the 10-year average for holiday sales growth of 2.9 percent and will represent about 19.2 percent of total annual retail sales, the NRF said. Holiday sales rose 3.1 percent last year.
The NRF figures exclude auto, gas and restaurant sales and are based on an economic model using several indicators, including consumer credit, disposable personal income and previous monthly retail sales releases.