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NRF Forecasts Retail Sales to
Increase 4.1% Over Last Year


Friday, February 13, 2015

The National Retail Federation has released its 2015 economic forecast, projecting retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) will increase 4.1 percent*, up from the 3.5 percent growth seen in 2014. NRF expects non-store sales in 2015 to grow between seven and 10 percent. The 4.1 percent increase would mark the biggest annual growth since 2011 when retail sales for the year increased 5.1 percent.

“Already facing far fewer obstacles than this time last year in terms of growth opportunities, retailers are optimistic about the potential that exists for healthy growth in retail sales and consumer engagement in 2015,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “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 toward sustained, long-term economic growth.”

“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,” said NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. “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.”

*  Retail industry sales, according to NRF, include most traditional retail categories including auto parts and accessories stores, non-store categories, discounters, department stores, grocery stores, and specialty stores, and exclude sales at automotive dealers, gas stations, and restaurants.

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