December can be stressful for retailers and shoppers alike. But here’s a cup of cheer: The average American plans to spend $967.13 this holiday season – 3.4% more than 2016 estimates – thanks for higher employment rates and rising wages.
The National Retail Federation says that it expects holiday retail sales in November and December – excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants – to increase between 3.6 and 4 percent for a total of $678.75 billion to $682 billion, up from $655.8 billion last year.
“Our forecast reflects the very realistic steady momentum of the economy and overall strength of the industry,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Although this year hasn’t been perfect, especially with the recent devastating hurricanes, we believe that a longer shopping season and strong consumer confidence will deliver retailers a strong holiday season.”
Christmas falls 32 days after Thanksgiving this year, one day more than last year, and is on a Monday instead of Sunday, giving consumers an extra weekend day to complete their shopping.
This year’s forecast would meet or exceed last year’s growth of 3.6 percent and the five-year average of 3.5 percent.
NRF’s forecast is based on an economic model using several indicators including consumer credit, disposable personal income and previous monthly retail sales. The overall number includes the non-store category (direct-to-consumer, kiosks and online sales). For historic sales information visit NRF’s Holiday Headquarters and the Retail Insight Center.
We wish you a season full of family and friends, love and laughter, peace and prosperity.