In its just-released 2016 economic forecast, the National Retail Federation (NRF) projects that retail industry sales will grow 3.1 percent, higher than the 10-year average of 2.7 percent.

The NRF also reported:

  • Nonstore sales should grow between 6 percent and 9 percent.
  • Economic growth is likely to be in the range of 1.9 percent to 2.4 percent.
  • Employment gains of approximately 190,000 people finding jobs each month, on average, are expected. “While that pace is down from 2015,” NRF expressed, “it is consistent with the labor market growing near its underlying trend.” By the end of the year, unemployment should drop to 4.6 percent, the NRF forecast reported.

“Wage stagnation is easing, jobs are being created and consumer confidence remains steady, so despite the headwinds our economy faces from international developments — particularly in China — we think 2016 will be favorable for growth in the retail industry,” remarked NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

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