Retail sales to hit $5.3 trillion in 2024

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on Mar 25, 2024
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The National Retail Federation (NRF) has released a few recent forecasts that suggest 2024 is shaping up to be a very good year for retail.

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According to the NRF prediction, retail sales in the United States will amount to between $5.23 trillion and $5.28 trillion – an annual increase of 2.5% to 3.5% for the country.

The 2024 sales forecast figures were in line with the 3.6% annual sales growth of $5.1 trillion recorded in 2023.

Non-store and online sales (included in the total figure) are expected to grow between 7% and 9% year-on-year, to between $1.47 trillion and $1.50 trillion. This amount compares with non-store and online sales of $1.38 trillion in 2023.

Moderate but steady growth predicted for rest of year

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Speaking on the findings at the NRF’s recent annual State of Retail & the Consumer virtual discussion, NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said that:

The resiliency of consumers continues to power the American economy, and we are confident there will be moderate but steady growth through [to] the end of the year.”

A lean 2025 year to follow?

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However, reading between the lines of the NRF forecast, these 2024 gains could be short-lived:

A tight labor market, with its robust job growth and wage gains fueling consumer spending, is expected to cool in 2024. With the pace of the economy slowing in 2024, NRF expects about 100,000 fewer jobs on average per month compared with 2023 and the unemployment rate to average 4% for the full year.”

Should employment and wage increases slow in 2025, this will likely negatively affect retail sales.

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