Holiday Sales Forecast Even Better Than Expected
The National Retail Federation recently revised its holiday sales forecast to 3.8 percent, up from the initial October 6 prediction of 2.8 percent. A record $469.1 billion in retail sales is anticipated, above the 10-year average, but lower than the 5.2 percent increase seen last year.
Two factors were cited that influenced the change: (1) unusually strong sales in October and November (including Black Friday), and (2) the results of the most recent NRF survey indicating that the average shopper has completed far less holiday shopping in that time period than usual. This means that the increase during those two months probably came from personal shopping, rather that shopping for gift-giving. Plenty of holiday shopping is still left to do!
It appears at this point that holiday spending has surpassed expectations, even though many shoppers are sticking to their budgets. The debt crisis in Europe and political wrangling in the US could still have an impact on spending, but the season should still turn out better than expected earlier.
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