NRF: '12 Retail Sales Will Grow 3.4%
The National Retail Federation predicts 2012 retail sales will grow 3.4 percent to $2.53 trillion despite continued high unemployment and uncertain job growth.
That growth will lag behind retail's 2011 pace, when relevant sales rose 4.7 percent, but is ahead of many economists' estimates for real U.S. GDP growth this year, which predict a rise of 2.1 to 2.4 percent. NRF's sales figures do not include sales of autos, gas and restaurants.
"Over the last 18 months, retailers have been on the forefront of the economic recovery--creating jobs, encouraging consumer spending, and investing in America," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "Our 2012 forecast is a vote of confidence in the retail industry and our ability to succeed even in a challenging economy. Retailers have played a key role in driving growth, but to continue this momentum we need Washington to act on proposals that will spur job creation and unleash the power of the private sector."