Modest Growth Expected for Holiday Retail Sales

       

       

NEW YORK–Holiday retail sales will increase by 2 percent this year, according to a forecast from Deloitte.

The economy’s bumpy recovery will likely keep consumer spending in check during the 2010 holidays. “Sustained weakness in the housing and employment markets continue to restrict consumer cash flow,” said Carl Steidtmann, Deloitte’s chief economist. “Consumers’ discretionary funds have dwindled as households remain focused on reducing debt and increasing their savings, while banks continue to limit access to credit and stimulus checks have run out.”
 
Deloitte’s retail group has predicted that total retail sales for the November-January period upcoming will be $852 billion, 2 percent up from the same period of last year. Most of this increase will come from non-store retailing, which the firm expects to rise 15 percent over last year’s holidays. “The convenience and functionality that have fueled e-commerce gains in previous seasons will continue to draw consumers online to do their shopping this year,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman and Deloitte’s retail sector leader in the United States.