NRF trims retail sales forecast for 2017

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Pickup expected in second half of year

WASHINGTON —The National Retail Federation on Wednesday cut its retail sales forecast for 2017 to reflect changes in government data. The NRF now projects that sales for the year will grow between 3.2% and 3.8%, rather than at the 3.7% to 4.2% rate that was forecast earlier this year.

“Meaningful revisions to retail sales numbers by the Census Bureau and similar revisions to personal income and consumption by the Bureau of Economic Analysis have both affected our forecast and have required us to adjust our 2017 sales projection,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a statement. “While weaker-than-expected spending in the first quarter along with decelerating inflation has also contributed to the revision, NRF anticipates stronger sales heading into the fall and holiday seasons.”

Kleinhenz said total retail sales have grown year-over-year every month since November 2009, and retail sales as calculated by NRF — which excludes automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants — have increased year-over-year in all but one month since the beginning of 2010.




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