Retail Sales to See Biggest Surge in Five Years, Says NRF18 Feb, 2015 By: Doug McPherson
WASHINGTON – The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts retail sales will rise 4.1 percent in 2015, up from 3.5 percent in 2014 – the biggest annual growth since 2011 when retail sales for the year increased 5.1 percent.
The NRF’s 2015 economic forecast, which excludes automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, says non-store sales in 2015 are expected to grow between 7 percent and 10 percent.
NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a statement that the economy “appears to finally have gained some real traction and after a somewhat turbulent 2014.” He added that the NRF expects to see continued gains in economic activity in 2015.
“While Americans are benefiting from a pickup in wages and jobs and gains in the U.S. stock market, economic slack has been reduced,” Kleinhenz said. “We still have a ways to go 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 inflation.”
NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay added, “While our outlook for the year ahead is positive, we aren’t quite out of the woods; in order to see continued momentum we need a commitment from our leaders in Washington to pass legislation that will encourage investment, create jobs and set us on the path towards sustained, long-term economic growth.”
NRF also predicts:
- A baseline outlook for growth in the economy as measured by GDP is expected to land between 2.7 percent and 3.2 percent over last year.
- Growth in the labor market should average between 220,000-230,000 new jobs per month throughout the year.
- Unemployment is expected to drop to 5 percent by year’s end
- Gains in equities and housing have boosted net worth to record levels, helping consumers feel more confident about household spending.