World Economy

US Retail Sales Forecast to Rise

US Retail Sales Forecast to RiseUS Retail Sales Forecast to Rise

A US trade group raised its forecast Tuesday for retail sales growth this year to 3.6%, with more help from online sales, as the economy improves, AP reported. That’s up from its previous forecast of 3.1% growth, the National Retail Federation said. The revision includes expected 7% to 10% growth in online and other non-store sales, up from its earlier 6% to 9% forecast. An improving housing market, job growth, higher wages and other factors are helping consumer spending, the trade group said. “Challenges remain, with some greater than others depending on the retail category, but consumer confidence remains high and we believe that retail customers will continue the positive trends we have seen in the first two quarters of the year,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. Potential hurdles, though, include uncertainty around the presidential election and the possibility of a global slowdown. According to NRF estimates, retail sales in the first half of the year rose close to 4% compared to a year earlier.