Group predicts rise in ’10 retail sales
NEW YORK - The nation’s retailers are likely to see sales rise moderately this year after a decline in 2009, according to a forecast to be released today by the world’s largest retail trade group. The National Retail Federation expects sales to rise 2.5 percent in 2010, still well below the 4 percent average annual gain from 2000 through 2008. But the outlook, which excludes automobile, gas station, and restaurant sales, is in line with other economists’ estimates.
Rosalind Wells, the federation’s chief economist, said an improving employment picture and housing market should help boost consumer confidence - and sales - but 2010 will bring continued store closings and other challenges.
Tight credit and a stagnant job market will continue to temper consumer spending even as the economy recovers, economists said. So stores are likely to continue keeping inventories lean and offer incentives to lure shoppers.