The National Retail Federation is predicting that 2017 retail sales will show an increase of 3.7 to 4.2% over 2016. Online sales are expected to rise between 8 and 12%. The estimate excludes retail expectations for automobiles, gas stations and restaurants.
“The economy is on firm ground as we head into 2017 and is expected to build on the momentum we saw late last year,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “But this year is unlike any other – while consumers have strength they haven’t had in the past, they will remain hesitant to spend until they have more certainty about policy changes on taxes, trade and other issues being debated in Congress.”
The NRF also predicts that the economy will gain an average of approximately 160,000 jobs per month—a number that is down slightly from 2016 but consistent with labor market growth.