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Holiday Shopping Forecast for 2017


The National Retail Federation (NRF) has released its predictions about holiday shopping for 2017. According to the data, sales are expected to be up 3.6 to 4 percent over last year. This excludes automobiles, gasoline, and dining purchases. Last year sales came in at $655.8 billion. This year sales are expected to average between $678.75 billion to $682 billion representing vigorous consumer confidence.

Just what is driving the expected push in holiday spending this year? Chief economist, Jack Kleinhenz said,

“The combination of job creation, improved wages, tame inflation, and an increase in net worth all provide the capacity and the confidence to spend.”

As the jobless rate continues to decrease and new jobs are added to the economy, people will feel more comfortable spending their money.

Holiday Shopping Trend for 2017
Courtesy of NRF (National Retail Federation)

In spite of setbacks from the devastating hurricane activity this year, holiday shopping will still be in full force. National Retail Federation (NRF) president and CEO Matthew Shay says, “Our forecast reflects the very realistic steady momentum of the economy and overall strength of the industry.” As shoppers get ready for the two greatest shopping days of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, stores are lining up their deals anticipating a steady stream of holiday shoppers. In addition, consumers have one extra day for shopping this year since Christmas is thirty-two days after Thanksgiving instead of thirty-one.

How does the NRF make its prediction for holiday spending? According to the Retail Insight Center, the information is gleaned by looking at several factors in the economy. These factors include:

  • Consumer credit
  • Individual disposable income
  • Prior monthly sales in retail

By studying these indicators, the NRF can more accurately predict the spending behavior and amount for the upcoming holiday shopping days. The National Retail Federation will publish the Thanksgiving weekend shopping data on November 28th in order to take into account Cyber Monday shopping.

Last year sales had increased by about the same amount, which indicates that consumers are overall more confident in the economy. This is good news for big and small businesses alike. When businesses feel confident about consumer spending, they are more likely to pass along savings to their customers. Consumers will see this reflected in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday markdowns.