NRF: ‘Resiliency of Consumers’ will Drive Retail Sales Growth in 2024

The National Retail Federation (NRF) projects that U.S. retail sales for 2024 will increase by 2.5% to 3.5% compared to the previous year, totaling between $5.23 and $5.28 trillion. That’s slightly less than the 3.6% increase seen in 2023, which saw sales reach $5.1 trillion, but it’s in line with the 10-year pre-pandemic average annual sales growth figure of 3.6%.

Non-store and online sales, which are included in the total figures, are expected to grow by 7% to 9% year-over-year to a range of $1.47 to $1.5 trillion, compared to $1.38 trillion in 2023.

“The resiliency of consumers continues to power the American economy, and we are confident there will be moderate but steady growth through the end of the year,” said Matthew Shay, President and CEO of the NRF in a statement.

The NRF projects full-year GDP growth of approximately 2.3%, less than 2023’s 2.5% but strong enough to sustain job growth. Additionally, inflation is expected to moderate to 2.2% on a year-over-year basis due to a cooling economy, retreating housing costs and the labor and product markets coming into better balance.


“If you look at retail prices…the components for retail actually have shown considerable decline since last year; in fact, almost a full 1% broadly for core retail,” said Jack Kleinhenz, Chief Economist at NRF in a statement. “Retail has certainly kept its bargain to try to make things affordable for the consumer.

“The economy is primarily supported by consumers who have shown much greater resilience than expected, and it’s hard to be bearish on the consumer,” noted Kleinhenz. “The question for 2024 ultimately is, will consumer spending maintain its resilience?”

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