Holiday Retail Sales Up 3.0 Percent to $579.8 Billion, According to NRF

  Holiday Retail Sales Up 3.0 Percent to $579.8 Billion, According to NRF

NRF 102nd Annual Convention & EXPO

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- January 15, 2013

Solid consumer spending in the month of December helped retailers finish the
year with a healthy holiday shopping season, however economic uncertainties
sent a cautious consumer to the stores. According to the National Retail
Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, December retail
sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) increased 0.8 
percent seasonally adjusted from November and increased 2.1 percent unadjusted
year-over-year.

Total holiday retail sales increased 3.0 percent, below NRF’s projected
forecast of 4.1, to $579.8 billion. Additionally, non-store holiday sales grew
11.1 percent. Shop.org in October forecasted a 12.0 percent growth in online
sales in the months of November and December.

“For over six months, we’ve been saying that the fiscal cliff and economic
uncertainty could impact holiday sales. As the number shows, these issues had
a visible impact on consumer spending this holiday season,” NRF President and
CEO Matthew Shay said. “We can’t expect consumers to continue to carry the
burden of growing our economy—Washington must put political differences aside
and do what it takes to get our country growing again and Americans back to
work.”

December retail sales, released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce,
showed total retail and food services sales (which include non-general
merchandise categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and
restaurants) increased 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and
increased 4.7 percent adjusted year-over-year.

“While non-store retail sales increased a hearty 11 percent this December,
total December sales could not make up for shortfalls in certain categories
like electronics,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Heading into
2013, consumers could continue to think twice about their discretionary
purchases as they face decreases in their paychecks and other concerns with
their household budgets.”

Other findings from the December retail sales report include:

  *Clothing and clothing accessories stores' sales increased 1.0 percent
    seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 2.5 percent unadjusted
    year-over-year.
  *Electronics and appliance stores’ sales decreased 0.6 percent
    seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and decreased 0.4 percent unadjusted
    year-over-year.
  *Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales increased 1.4 percent
    seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 3.0 percent unadjusted
    year-over-year.
  *General merchandise stores’ sales were unchanged seasonally-adjusted
    month-to-month and decreased 3.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  *Health and personal care stores’ sales increased 1.4 percent
    seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and decreased 0.7 percent unadjusted
    year-over-year.
  *Nonstore retailers’ sales increased 0.5 percent seasonally-adjusted
    month-to-month and increased 9.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  *Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 0.6 percent
    seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 4.7 percent unadjusted
    year-over-year.

As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail
worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain
restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45
countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments
that support one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans.
Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the
nation’s economy. NRF’s Retail Means Jobs campaign emphasizes the economic
importance of retail and encourages policymakers to support a Jobs, Innovation
and Consumer Value Agenda aimed at boosting economic growth and job creation.
www.nrf.com

Contact:

National Retail Federation (NRF)
Stephen E. Schatz (703-946-7510) / (212-542-1950)
SchatzS@NRF.com
 
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