Consumers are in good financial shape and retailers expect a strong holiday season, according to a National Retail Federation news release.
Holiday retail sales during November and December are expected to increase between 3.8 percent and 4.2 percent over 2018, totaling between $727.9 billion and $730.7 billion, the NRF projects. The numbers, which exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations, and restaurants, compare with an average holiday sales increase of 3.7 percent over the previous five years.
NRF expects online and other non-store sales to increase 11-14 percent over 2018 equaling $162.6 billion and $166.9 billion.
“The U.S. economy is continuing to grow, and consumer spending is still the primary engine behind that growth,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay says in the release. He adds, however, that uncertainty around issues including trade, interest rates, global risk factors, and political rhetoric could erode consumer confidence.