U.S. retail sales in 2019 could climb between 3.8 and 4.4 percent, “despite threats from an ongoing trade war, the volatile stock market and the effects of the government shutdown,” according to a report released Tuesday by the National Retail Federation.
That would be less than growth of 4.6 percent in 2018, which NRF says is its preliminary estimate for retail sales last year, pending the release of December data from the Commerce Department that was stalled from being announced during the government shutdown. NRF in August of last year said it expected 2018 retail sales to be up at least 4.5 percent.
This year, NRF says retail sales should amount to more than $3.8 trillion — excluding automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.
“Most important for the year ahead will be the ongoing strength in the job market, which will support the consumer income and spending that are both key drivers of the economy,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “The bottom line is that the economy is in a good place despite the ups and downs of the stock market and other uncertainties.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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