Written by Jorge Tenorio
According to the National Retail Federation’s annual consumer spending survey, Americans could spend nearly $721 billion on gifts, decor, travel and more during the 2018 holiday season.
Recent data from the national retail Federation shows that Americans could likely spend in the range of $721 billion dollars for the 2018 holiday season. Money would be spent on everything from domestic travel to decorations and traditional gifts for family and friends. Holiday sales figure in 2017 hit $687.87 billion, which was applauded by economists since it was some of the most positive consumption data since 2010. The rising revenue being generated by holiday shoppers doesn’t show signs of slowing either. Experts predict a spike between 4.3 and 4.8 percent this year that will result in a grand total of $717.45 billion to $720.89 billion will be earned. Furthermore, the average U.S. shopper will most likely spend 4.1 percent more than they did last year.
Matthew Shay of the National Retail Federation (NRF) believes that the economy is in good shape and consumers are confident so retail industry numbers will continue to reflect that. “While there is concern about the impacts of an escalating trade war, we are optimistic that the pace of economic activity will continue to increase through the end of the year,” he was quoted as saying in a recent news release.
The majority of shoppers will allocate their funds towards gifts bought both online and in department stores. Those celebrating the holidays are still requesting gift cards, which has been a trend for the past 12 years. Clothing and accessories are the second most popular gift requests. Books, movies and music are showing no signs of losing popularity among those making wish lists.
Matthew Shay of the National Retail Federation (NRF) believes that the economy is in good shape and consumers are confident, so retail industry numbers will continue to reflect that. “While there is concern about the impacts of an escalating trade war, we are optimistic that the pace of economic activity will continue to increase through the end of the year,” he was quoted as saying in a recent news release. He also shared
positive opinions on the direction he thinks the retail industry will take during an era in which innovation is critical to its ongoing success.
In spite of new tariffs on Chinese products that there’s a strong demand for, holiday spending on them has not been inhibited, according to Shay. Imports into U.S. container ports will reach at record levels, the National Retail Federation (NRF) forecasts. "The third round of tariffs is now in place, an increase in the level of tariffs is coming, and further tariffs have been threatened," Ben Hackett, an international trade consultant and head of a research and advisory company said with more caution in a press release. He also warned that "consumer prices will no doubt start to rise." Shay’s optimism, however, is driven by statistics that cite significant wage growth as hourly earnings have jumped by 2.9 percent. Only 3.9 percent of the U.S. population of working age was unemployed in September of 2018, so increasing job opportunities are also playing their hand in motivating holiday shoppers to spread their wallets with more confidence.
The big catalyst keeping retail industry hopes high is mobile. Consumers are shopping from their smartphones more than ever $8.4 million more dollars is anticipated courtesy of the rising usage of handheld devices in the holiday shopping process. 2018 will be the first year that more than half of digital storefront views will have arrived via mobile devices. “Retailers are reaping the rewards of their investments in mobile and have seen unprecedented success in converting mobile traffic to sales,” points out Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights. $3.8 billion was earned from desktop computer sales in 2017, so it couldn't be more clear that Americans are not cutting back. In fact, shoppers are even more highly motivated to spend on the full range of holiday experiences.