Will “wild cards” affect US retail sales?

RetailME Bureau

US retail sales will increase between 3.5 and 4.1% to more than $3.9 trillion during 2020, forecasts the National Retail Federation (NRF), despite “wild cards” and uncertainty from coronavirus, lingering trade war and the presidential election.

Online sales, which are included in the total of $3.93 trillion, are expected to grow between 12 and 15% to between $870.6 billion and $893.9 billion.

“The nation’s record-long economic expansion is continuing, and consumers remain the drivers of that expansion,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “With gains in household income and wealth, lower interest rates and strong consumer confidence, we expect another healthy year ahead. There are always wild cards we cannot control like coronavirus and a politically charged election year. But when it comes to the fundamentals, our economy is sound and consumers continue to lead the way.”

This forecast is, however, based on the assumption that COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) does not become a “global pandemic.” Even as business and consumer confidence look promising, retail sales could be impacted if factory shutdowns in China continue.

Several global brands – mainly operating in China – are dealing with the impact of COVID-19 on a daily basis. In addition, several trade shows, exhibitions have been cancelled, causing financial distress.