If you are planning on making a trip to the mall or ordering that hard-to-get item from Amazon, do it sooner rather than later. The National Retail Federation recently released its Holiday 2016 Consumer Survey. The current year projection is a 3.6% increase in sales over the prior year, which is better than the increase of 3.2% in 2015. The past 10 years have averaged sales increases of 2.5%, and since the recession that ended in 2009, the average increase has been 3.4%. This is clearly good news for retailers as they gear up for the all-important holiday season. The forecast uses several different indicators, including available consumer credit, personal income and previous monthly retail sales releases. This uptick is also driving an overall increase in the level of hiring, which may hit 690,000 seasonal workers for the current year. Matthew Shay, National Retail Federation President and CEO, notes that, “All of the fundamentals are in a good place, giving strength to consumers and leading us to believe that this will be a very positive holiday season. This year hasn’t been perfect, starting with a long summer and unseasonably warm fall, but our forecast reflects the very realistic steady momentum of the economy and industry expectations.” Hopefully, this will translate into a very happy holiday season for all retailers.
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