Retail Federation (NRF) has unveiled its 2018 economic forecast, projecting that retail
industry sales will grow between 3. 8 and 4. 4 percent over 2017. Online and other nonstore sales, which are included in the overall number, are expected to increase between
10 and 12 percent. The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.
Retail sales grew 3.9 percent in 2017 over 2016 to $3.53 trillion, according to the U.S.
Census Bureau’s preliminary
estimate for the year. The
number is subject to revision,
said NRF officials, but exceeded the organization’s forecast
for growth between 3.2 and
3. 8 percent.
“Despite headlines to the
contrary, the retail industry is
strong, growing and meeting
consumer demand with the
products they want at the pric-
es they expect and the shop-
ping experience they want to
have, online or in-store,” said
Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO. “With consumer confidence high, unemploy-
ment low and wages growing, there is every reason to believe that retail sales will be
robust throughout the year.”
Additional economic insights from NRF include:
• The overall economy is expected to gain an average of 163,000 jobs a month,
down slightly from 2017 but consistent with labor market growth.
• Unemployment is expected to drop to 3.9 percent by the end of the year.
• Gross domestic product growth is likely to be in the range of 2.5 to 3 percent
Retail industry sales as defined by NRF include most traditional retail categories
including nonstore sales, discounters, department stores, grocery stores, specialty stores,
and auto parts and accessories stores but exclude sales at automotive dealers, gasoline
stations and restaurants. Nonstore sales include online sales, kiosks, catalogs, mail order
and vending machines and are included in the overall number.
SURVEY EXAMINES HOW
FOR THEIR PETS
A recent survey from e-commerce retailer Zulily uncovered how millennial pet owners shop for their pets, what
they are purchasing and how
their relationship with their
pet is impacting every aspect
of their life—including work,
family and relationships.
Zulily’s The Millennializa-tion of the Pet Industry—
Retail’s Opportunity to Reach the
Pet-Obsessed Report found that
millennial pet owners would
find it more stressful to be
separated for a week from
their pet ( 65 percent) than
their cellphone. Employed
millennial pet owners are so
attached to their pets that 71
percent would take a pay cut
if it meant they could bring
their pet(s) to work every day.
And more than one in five ( 21
percent) would sacrifice a
whopping 20 percent or more
of their pay to make every day
“bring your pet to work day.”
The survey also found that
while shopping for their pets,
millennials are likely to add
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