Slow Retail Sales Expected for ‘08
National Retail Federation expects retail industry sales – excluding those from automobiles, gas stations and restaurants - to increase 3.5 percent from last year, one of the slowest rates in six years and below last year’s rate of four percent.
NRF expects the slow pace to continue before picking up in the second half of the year, according to its quarterly Retail Sales Outlook report, released this week at NRF’s 97th Annual Convention & EXPO.
“Consumers will be under financial stress from high energy costs, the fallout from the housing slump, and sluggish employment and income growth,” said NRF Chief Economist Rosalind Wells. “Shoppers will seek to pay down debt, spend more in line with income growth, and approach discretionary purchases with more restraint.”