NRF forecasts above-average growth for 2016

The National Retail Federation is expecting sales to grow both in-store and online in 2016, with online commerce expanding at up to three times the rate of physical stores.

Retail industry sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) are projected to grow 3.1 percent, that's higher than the 10-year average of 2.7 percent. Non-store sales in 2016 to grow between 6 and 9 percent.

"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," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "All of the experts agree that the consumer is in the driver's seat and steering our economic recovery."

Retailers have benefited from lower gas prices, but consumers are spending more on travel, eating out and personal services. This shift in consumer spending, from merchandise to experiences, is prompting retailers to rethink stores and offerings. Many are adding restaurants and technology to create interactive experiences that will drive traffic and sales.

For more:
-See this NRF report

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