Retail Sales to Overcome Uncertainties Like Coronavirus to Rise in 2020

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By Kim Khan – U.S. Retail sales will continue to climb this year, overcoming uncertainty due to the coronavirus, trade wars and the presidential election, the National Retail Federation said Wednesday.

Sales will rise 3.5% to 4.1% to between $3.93 trillion and $3.95 trillion in 2020, the NRF said. Online sales will be up between 12% and 15%.

Preliminary results for 2019 showed a rise in retail sales of 3.7% from the year ago to $3.79 trillion. Online and non-store sales rose 12.9%.

“With gains in household income and wealth, lower interest rates and strong consumer confidence, we expect another healthy year ahead,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement.

“There are always wild cards we cannot control like coronavirus and a politically charged election year,” Shay said. “But when it comes to the fundamentals, our economy is sound and consumers continue to lead the way.”

The S&P consumer discretionary sector was up 1.4%.

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