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US holiday sales to rise 8.5-10.5% despite supply chain disruptions

Washington : US holiday sales during November and December are expected to grow between 8.5 per cent and 10.5 per cent to reach between $843.4 billion and $859 billion, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said.

The figures, which exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants, exceed the previous record in 2020 when holiday sales grew 8.2 per cent to $777.3 billion, Xinhua news agency quoted the Federation as saying on Wednesday.

“Consumers are in a very favourable position going into the last few months of the year as income is rising and household balance sheets have never been stronger,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement.

“Retailers are making significant investments in their supply chains and spending heavily to ensure they have products on their shelves to meet this time of exceptional consumer demand,” Shay said.

NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz noted that pandemic-related supply chain disruptions have caused shortages of merchandise and most of this year’s inflationary pressure.

“With the prospect of consumers seeking to shop early, inventories may be pulled down sooner and shortages may develop in the later weeks of the shopping season.

“However, if retailers can keep merchandise on the shelves and merchandise arrives before Christmas, it could be a stellar holiday sales season,” Kleinhenz said.

While e-commerce will remain important, households are also expected to shift back to in-store shopping and a more traditional holiday shopping experience during the upcoming holiday season, according to the NRF.

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