Retail Sector to Grow 8% This Year

Retail sales are expected to remain strong as the economy opens further in the coming months, but there is considerable uncertainty this year.

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Retail sales are anticipated to grow between 6-8% to more than $4.86 trillion in 2022, according to National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual forecast.

“NRF expects retail sales to increase in 2022, as consumers are ready to spend and have the resources to do so,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay says. “We should see durable growth this year given consumer confidence to continue this expansion, notwithstanding risks related to inflation, COVID-19 and geopolitical threats.”

From National Retail Federation:

  • NRF forecasts that 2022 retail sales will total between $4.86-4.95 trillion. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants. Non-store and online sales year-over-year, which are included in the total figure, are expected to grow between 11-13% to a range of $1.17-1.19 trillion as consumers continue to utilize e-commerce.
  • The 2022 figure compares with 14% annual growth rate in 2021, the highest growth rate in more than 20 years. This year’s sales forecast is notably above the 10-year, pre-pandemic growth rate of 3.7%.
  • NRF anticipates strong job and wage growth and declining unemployment. The organization projects full-year GDP growth will be slower this year, around 3.5%, given the surge of inflation and tightening of monetary policy and less fiscal stimulus.
  • Retail sales are expected to remain strong as the economy opens further in the coming months, but there is considerable uncertainty this year that NRF will continue to monitor closely.

“Most households have never experienced anything like this level of inflation, and it is expected to remain elevated well into 2023,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz says. “In addition to inflation, the forces impacting the economy include COVID-19 impacts, international tensions and policy variability. 

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