The National Retail Federation has released a green light for retail sales in November, noting that the month’s sales put the holiday season on track to meet its bountiful forecast.
It shows that between October and November retail sales increased by 0.7% and for November and December, the increase will be between 4.3% and 4.8% compared to 2017, totaling a gigantic $717.45 billion dollars in sales.
One of the biggest growth areas is electronics and appliance stores, which were up 5% year-on-year. Interestingly, despite the rise of the more health conscious consumer, sporting goods stores were down 7.8 percent year-on-year.
This positive outlook is reflected in the employment numbers of the industry too. In November, they increased by 18,600 jobs, which accounts for 12 percent of the total increase in jobs reported by the Labor Department. While there were losses of 10,900 employees from electronics and appliance stores (perhaps down to the shift in online sales) and 11,100 jobs at sporting goods hobby stores, there was a growth of 39,300 at general merchandise stores and 9,800 at miscellaneous stores, which includes food and beverage.
NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz linked the healthy forecast to stronger employment, improved wages, tax cuts and increased net worth for the positive numbers. He noted consumers have the capacity and confidence to spend this holiday season. There is a good start to the holiday season and it is consistent with our outlook.’