NRF lowers retail sales forecast in 2015 to 3.5%

08aa7 sizedownsmall NRF lowers retail sales forecast in 2015 to 3.5%08aa7 sizeupsmall NRF lowers retail sales forecast in 2015 to 3.5%
 NRF lowers retail sales forecast in 2015 to 3.5%The National Retail Federation (NRF) has lowered its retail sales forecast for 2015 because of unexpected slow growth recorded during the first half of the year, similar to the industry’s experience in 2014. NRF forecasted in February that retail sales would grow 4.1 percent in 2015 over 2014, but has revised its forecast lower to 3.5 percent. But it does expect sales to steadily increase through the remainder of the year.

NRF calculated that sales grew 2.9 percent during the first half of 2015 and are expected to grow at a more positive pace of 3.7 percent over the next five months. The estimates include general retail sales and non-store sales, and exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants. Revised non-store sales are now expected to grow between 6 and 8 percent, still within the 7 to 10 percent range originally forecast. NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay noted that, “Until the government and our elected leaders get serious about enacting policies that lift consumer confidence, create economic growth and spur investment, we will continue this trend of solid, but not exceptional, performance in the economy.”

“Despite all of these hurdles, we are optimistic that consumer spending during the second half of the year will benefit from recent improvements in the housing and labor markets along with lower energy costs, and believe consumer confidence will grow enough to bolster retail purchases for the year,” said Shay.

The retail sales have been impacted by the rough weather conditions, issues at the West Coast ports, a stronger U.S. dollar, weak foreign growth, declines in energy sector investments, and ‘thus have changed how future sales will shape up for the rest of 2015,” according to NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. “Additionally, household spending patterns appear to have shifted purchases toward services and away from goods, though this may be transitory.”



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