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BizReport : Ecommerce : February 21, 2017

Forecast: Retail to show steady growth through 2017

Although overall retail sales increased less than 1% in January 2017, experts at the National Retail Federation believe retail will show steady growth throughout the year. Researchers suggest retail will show between 3% and 4% growth YoY.

by Kristina Knight

"The retail industry started the year on a high note, continuing the momentum from the 2016 holiday season. The healthy monthly gain was driven by January's strong payroll gains, retail employment gains and business sentiment," NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. "We haven't seen strong January growth in several years, which indicates that consumers are increasing their spending and remain the leading driver of the economy."

The Retail sector doesn't include restaurants, auto sales, or gas stations; online/ecommerce retail sales are included. In fact, ecommerce growth is expected to surpass overall retail growth at more than 2 to 1.

The NRF predicts ecommerce is increase between 8% and 12% YoY.

"Prospects for consumer spending are straightforward - more jobs and more income will result in more spending," said Kleinhenz. "Regardless of sentiment, the pace of wage growth and job creation dictate spending. Our forecast represents a baseline for the year, but potential fiscal policy changes could impact consumers and the economy. It seems unlikely that businesses will notably increase investment until tax reform and trade policies are well-defined."

Tags: ecommerce, ecommerce trends, National Retail Federation, retail trends

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