Rosalind Wells

The National Retail Federation on Wednesday predicted a “challenging” holiday season, projecting gains of 2.2 percent to $470.4 billion in the U.S. While a gain, this figure would fall below the ten-year average of 4.4 percent growth. NRF based these figures on various economic indicators, including the struggling housing market, rising unemployment and food and energy costs. “Current financial pressures and a lack of confidence in the economy will force shoppers to be very conservative with their holiday spending,” NRF Chief Economist Rosalind Wells said as part of the finding. “We expect consumers to be frugal this season and less willing to

Ready for some good news with regard to the economy? After several months of lackluster sales, retailers finally have a reason to cheer. According to the National Retail Federation, retail industry sales for April (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) rose 2.3 percent unadjusted over last year and 0.6 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month. The U.S. Commerce Department recently released April retail sales figures that show total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) decreased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted from the previous month and increased 2.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.   “While it’s apparent that consumers are still

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

The fourth quarter holiday selling season is upon us. What’s in store? Wild ride? A crash? Or just another frenetic three months of selling before everybody heads to Las Vegas for CES? In a Summer 2006 Retail Sales Outlook written for the National Retail Federation (NRF), Rosalind Wells of Wells & Associates reported U.S. retail sales averaged 7.8 percent retail sales growth in the first quarter, followed by an estimated 7.0 percent in the second quarter. Citing a “slow-down in progress,” NRF expects retail sales rates to “moderate for the balance of the year” and track at a 6.0 percent increase for

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