Tags: Retail | cuts | sales | estimate

National Retail Federation Cuts Sales Estimate for 2014

By    |   Wednesday, 23 July 2014 12:26 PM

The National Retail Federation (NRF) has lowered its retail sales forecast for 2014 to 3.6 percent from 4.1 percent in January, because of slow first-half growth.

To be sure, the NRF expects an improvement in the second half of the year, with sales climbing at least 3.9 percent, compared to 2.9 percent for the first half.

The calculations exclude automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants.

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"No retailer was immune to the doldrums witnessed during the first quarter, and as a result, the year’s growth trajectory was impacted," NRF President Matthew Shay said in a statement.

"That said, there is plenty of evidence that the second half of the year will be better for the industry, as consumers begin to feel more optimistic about their spending decisions."

The economy contracted 2.9 percent in the first quarter, but many analysts expect growth of 3 percent or more for the rest of the year.

"Though we maintain realistic expectations of retail sales growth in 2014, we are optimistic that the chances for a stronger economy still exist," Shay said.

Jeffrey Snider, chief investment strategist at Alhambra Investment Partners, is less optimistic.

The consumer sector, which accounts for about 70 percent of GDP, remains a problem, he wrote in a commentary on the firm's web site.

"We keep hearing the contradiction that consumer spending just won’t take off, despite the 'strongest' payroll growth since 2009," Snider said.

"It may be finally dawning that such labor improvement is but a mirage, a statistical phantasm of mathematics that are ill-suited to the times."

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The National Retail Federation (NRF) has lowered its retail sales forecast for 2014 to 3.6 percent from 4.1 percent in January, because of slow first-half growth.
Retail, cuts, sales, estimate
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2014-26-23
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 12:26 PM
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