Washington – After a solid start to the holiday season, the National Retail Federation announced that it is revising its holiday forecast to 3.3%, up from 2.3%. The upward revision is due to improvement in a variety of economic indicators including stock market gains, recent income growth, savings built up during the recession - all giving consumers the capacity to spend.
According to the National Retail Federation, November retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) increased 0.8% seasonally adjusted over October and 6.8% unadjusted over last year.
“The start to the holiday season has surpassed all expectations,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “While employment data is still a concern, we are starting to see improvement in other economic indicators that support an increase to our forecast. In order to sustain this momentum for retailers and the U.S. economy, there must be a renewed focus on jobs as we enter the new year.”
Sales at clothing and clothing accessory stores increased 2.7% seasonally adjusted over last month and a strong 9.6% unadjusted year-over-year. Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores sales increased 2.3% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 15.5% unadjusted year-over-year.
Health and personal care stores sales increased 0.9% seasonally adjusted over last October and 7.3% unadjusted over last year. General merchandise stores sales increased 1.3% seasonally adjusted over last month and 4.2 % unadjusted year-over-year.