In the latest forecast from the National Retail Federation (NRF), retail sales are anticipated to grow 6.5-8.2% to more than $4.33 trillion in 2021.
“Despite the continuing health and economic challenges COVID-19 presents, we are very optimistic that healthy consumer fundamentals, pent-up demand and widespread distribution of the vaccine will generate increased economic growth, retail sales and consumer spending,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay says. “From the outset of the pandemic, retailers have gone above and beyond even the most conservative safety guidelines to protect and serve their associates and consumers alike. Retailers are increasingly engaged in working with federal, state and local health officials to distribute and administer the vaccine. This partnership has been key to our economic health throughout the pandemic and will continue this year.”
NRF also expects the overall economy to gain between 220,000-300,000 jobs per month in 2021.
“The trajectory of the economy is predicated on the effectiveness of the vaccine and its distribution,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz says. “Our principal assumption is that that the vaccination will be effective and permits accelerated growth during the mid-year. The economy is expected to see its fastest growth in over two decades.”
- The 2020 November-December holiday season accounted for nearly one-fifth (19.4%) of overall annual retail sales. Non-store and other online sales represented $206.9 billion of total holiday sales, up 22.6% over the year before.
- These results mark the second year of savings, record high stock valuations, increased home prices, enhanced government support and record low interest rates, all contributing factors toward the economy and consumer spending behavior.