National Retail Federation predicts solid growth in holiday sales
Citing the competing factors of political and fiscal uncertainties, and signs of improvement in consumer confidence, the National Retail Federation predicts that 2012 holiday sales will increase 4.1% to $586.1 billion, and retailers will hire an estimated 585,000 to 625,000 seasonal employees.
The Federation’s 2012 holiday forecast is higher than the 10-year average holiday sales increase of 3.5%. Actual holiday sales in 2011 grew 5.6%.
It marks the most optimistic forecast NRF has released since the recession. “In spite of the uncertainties that exist in our economy and among consumers, we believe we’ll see solid holiday sales growth this year,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a press release. “Variables including an upcoming presidential election, confusion surrounding the ‘fiscal cliff,’ and concern relating to future economic growth could all combine to affect consumers’ spending plans, but overall we are optimistic that retailers promotions will hit the right chord with holiday shoppers.”
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