NRF 2015 economic forecast: Retail industry sales will increase 4.1%, up from the 3.5% growth seen in 2014

Non-Store Sales to Grow as Much as 10% in 2015

WASHINGTON, 2015-2-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation released its 2015 economic forecast today, projecting retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) will increase 4.1 percent*, up from the 3.5 percent growth seen in 2014. NRF also announced today it expects non-store sales in 2015 to grow between 7 and 10 percent. The 4.1 percent increase would mark the biggest annual growth since 2011 when retail sales for the year increased 5.1 percent.

“Already facing far fewer obstacles than this time last year in terms of growth opportunities, retailers are optimistic about the potential that exists for healthy growth in retail sales and consumer engagement in 2015,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “While our outlook for the year ahead is positive, we aren’t quite out of the woods; in order to see continued momentum we need a commitment from our leaders in Washington to pass legislation that will encourage investment, create jobs and set us on the path towards sustained, long-term economic growth.”

“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 NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. “While Americans are benefiting from a pickup in wages and jobs and gains in the U.S. stock market, economic slack has been reduced.  We still, however, have a ways to go in order to achieve sustainable economic growth. 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.”

Additional economic insights from the National Retail Federation include:

  • A baseline outlook for growth in the economy as measured by GDP is expected to land between 2.7 and 3.2 percent over last year;
  • Growth in the labor market should average between 220,000 – 230,000 new jobs per month throughout the year;
  • Unemployment is expected to drop to 5 percent by year’s end;
  • Gains in equities and housing have boosted net worth to record levels, helping consumers feel more confident about household spending.

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay joins Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz to outline key points from the 2015 retail sales forecast.

Additionally, January retail sales released today by the National Retail Federation, which excludes automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, increased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 3.7 unadjusted year-over-year. Today’s results confirm holiday sales growth of 4 percent.

The U.S. Commerce Department said on Thursday that January retail sales decreased 0.8 percent over the previous month seasonally adjusted, and increased 3.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. NRF.com.

*  Retail industry sales according to NRF include most traditional retail categories including auto parts and accessories stores, non-store categories, discounters, department stores, grocery stores, and specialty stores, and exclude sales at automotive dealers, gas stations, and restaurants.

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Kathy Grannis
(202) 783-7971
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press