Economy Watch: Holiday Retail Sales Could Spike This Year

Retailers will likely enjoy a strong holiday season, with e-commerce expected to see a sales increase of 18 to 21 percent this year, according to a new Deloitte forecast.

Courtesy Flickr Creative Commons user slowburn
Courtesy Flickr Creative Commons user slowburn

It’s been a tough year for American retail, but those retailers who make it to the end of the year probably enjoy strong holiday sales seasons, considering the health of the economy and optimism among consumers. That’s according an early forecast of holiday sales by Deloitte.

The company said that it expects retailers to see holiday sales growth nationwide of as much as 4.5 percent compared with 2016. Last year, total sales for the season rose 3.6 percent year-over-year, which was the same as in 2015, Deloitte reported.

Deloitte expects total retail sales during the holiday period, which it adjusts to exclude motor vehicles and gasoline sales, to reach $1.04 trillion to $1.05 trillion.
By the company’s reckoning, the season stretches from November through January (other estimates only count November and December).

Moreover, e-commerce sales could peak at $114 billion, according to Deloitte. That would represent an increase of 18 to 21 percent for the year. Internet-based retail sales climbed 14.3 percent year-over-year in 2016, the company said.