Retail in Asia

National Retail Federation calls for 3.1 percent growth this year

Following a slower-than-expected holiday season that came in roughly 25 percent below forecasts, the National Retail Federation is projecting retail sales will continue to creep along in 2016.

The industry trade organization on Wednesday said it expects annual retail sales to rise 3.1 percent this year, which would be flat with its preliminary results of 3.1 percent recorded growth in 2015.

Though the 2016 forecast is flat with last year’s growth figures, the NRF said a 3.1 percent increase (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) is above the 10-year average of 2.7 percent growth.

"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 favourable for growth in the retail industry," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.