Booming Retail Sales Forecast for 2021
Retail sales are expected to boom in 2021 if vaccines continue to roll out and the economy continues to open up, according to the National Retail Federation.
Overall retail sales are predicted to grow between 6.5% to 8.2%, according to the trade group’s annual forecast released today. Online sales should increase 18% to 23%.
“The economy is expected to see its fastest growth in over two decades,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said.
Interestingly, and somewhat counter to popular narrative, retail sales grew an impressive 6.7% in 2020. By comparison, retail sales increased 3.9% in 2019. Those retail figures excludes auto dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.
Holiday sales in November and December turned out much better than expected, rising 8% and accounting for about one-fifth of total 2020 retail sales, the NRF said. Holiday online sales jumped 22.6% over the year before.
The NRF is forecasting real GDP to increase 4.5% to 5% in 2021.
“The trajectory of the economy is predicated on the effectiveness of the vaccine and its distribution, ”Kleinhenz said. “Our principal assumption is that the vaccination will be effective and permits accelerated growth during the mid-year.”