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Holiday Spending Projected to Hit Record Levels, Online Shopping Surges, and Consumers Embrace Resilience Amid Economic Variables

The National Retail Federation predicts that holiday spending in November and December will set new records, projecting a growth of 3-4% over 2022 to a total between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion. NRF President Matthew Shay attributes this to stable household finances supporting consumer spending. Although the growth rate is slower than in recent pandemic years, it aligns with the average annual increase from 2010 to 2019.

Online shopping remains a significant trend, with non-store sales expected to rise 7-9% to reach $273.7 billion to $278.8 billion. NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz notes consumer resilience despite inflation, high gas prices, and credit conditions. Job and wage growth will influence spending, with an emphasis on seeking deals and discounts.

Kleinhenz emphasizes the shift from goods to services in spending trends, noting strong growth in service spending. NRF anticipates retailers hiring between 345,000 and 450,000 seasonal workers to meet holiday demand. Weather impacts, particularly from El Niño, could introduce unpredictability to holiday retail spending.

NRF’s holiday forecast relies on economic modeling, excluding auto dealers, gas stations, and restaurants. The holiday season, defined as November 1 through December 31, is supported by a Prosper Insights & Analytics survey, indicating 43% of holiday shoppers plan to start buying before November, with an average spending expectation of $875 on core holiday items.