Holiday Sales Forecast

We forecast that this will be a respectable year for holiday sales by historical standards for large retailers, most of whom still bank on the success of the holiday season to drive the year’s profitability. Americans tend to put aside their worries during the holiday season, and there is a pattern of resiliency in the retail sector around this time of year, even amid periods of economic weakness or mild contraction. We expect this to continue over the next few months as retailers aggressively court consumers via promotions and deals.

Retailers understand what’s at stake in this all-important season, and they’re committed to engaging shoppers. We don’t believe any residual impact from the partial government shutdown, consumer anxiety over the dysfunctional political climate in Washington, D.C., or fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas will have substantial influence on retailers’ ability to increase sales over the entirety of this season. However, the outlook for profitability may be less auspicious as the prospect of a highly promotional season has grown more likely.

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