US to record highest holiday sales
Holiday spending in the US could rise exponentially, with retail sales in November and December seen to grow between 8.5 per cent and 10.5 per cent from 2020 as incomes and savings soar, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said.
Spending could “shatter previous records” and push holiday sales to between US$843.4 billion and US$859 billion during the last two months of the year, according to NRF. By comparison, sales in 2020 were up 8.2 per cent to US$777.3 billion.
NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay explained, “Consumers are in a very favourable position going into the last few months of the year as income is rising and household balance sheets have never been stronger. Retailers are making significant investments in their supply chains and spending heavily to ensure they have products on their shelves to meet this time of exceptional consumer demand.”
Online and other non-store sales could rise between 11 per cent and 15 per cent to US$218.3 billion and US$226.2 billion, up from US$196.7 billion in 2020. In-store shopping is also expected to make a comeback in a post-lockdown scenario.
“The outlook for the holiday season looks very bright,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz noted. “The unusual and beneficial position we find ourselves in is that households have increased spending vigorously throughout most of 2021 and remain with plenty of holiday purchasing power.”
Kleinhenz said income is growing from wage compensation, and household wealth has reached another record high. These together support strong spending this holiday season. Pandemic-related supply chain disruptions however could still potentially affect consumer spending, he added.
NRF'’s holiday forecast is based on economic modelling that considers a variety of indicators including employment, wages, consumer confidence, disposable income, consumer credit, previous retail sales and weather. NRF defines the holiday season as November 1 through December 31.