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NRF projects US retail sales to grow 4.1% in 2015
Feb '15
In its 2015 economic forecast, the National Retail Federation (NRF) projected retail industry sales, excluding automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants will increase 4.1 per cent*, up from the 3.5 per in 2014.

The 4.1 per cent growth would mark the biggest annual growth since 2011 when retail sales for the year increased 5.1 per cent. NRF also said it expects non-store sales in 2015 to grow between 7 and 10 per cent.

Additionally, NRF expects a baseline outlook for growth in the economy as measured by GDP to be between 2.7-3.2 per cent over last year.

“Growth in the labour market should average between 220,000–230,000 new jobs per month throughout the year,” the retail trade body said.

It also said, unemployment is expected to drop to 5 per cent by the year end and that gains in equities and housing have boosted net worth to record levels, helping consumers feel more confident.

Moreover, according to NRF, January retail sales which again excludes automobiles, gas stations and restaurants rose 0.2 per cent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 3.7 per cent unadjusted year-over-year.

It added that the results confirm holiday sales growth of 4 per cent year on year.

The US Commerce Department said last week that January retail sales fell 0.8 per cent over the previous month seasonally adjusted, and hiked 3.3 per cent unadjusted year-over-year.

“Already facing far fewer obstacles, retailers are optimistic about the potential that exists for healthy growth in retail sales and consumer engagement in 2015,” said CEO Matthew Shay.

“In order to see continued momentum we need a commitment from our leaders in Washington to pass legislation that will encourage investment and create jobs,” he added.

“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 chief economist Jack Kleinhenz.

He too added, “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.”

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores.

Retail is the US’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four US jobs or 42 million working Americans and contributes $2.6 trillion to annual GDP. (AR)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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