In an annual forecast this week, the National Retail Federation anticipates retail sales to grow between 6% and 8%, from approximately $4.86 to $4.95 trillion in 2022. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations, and restaurants.
In support of the forecast, research has made clear that consumers are ready to spend and have the resources to do so. Consumer confidence will continue to fuel the expansion, notwithstanding risks related to inflation, COVID-19, and geopolitical threats.
The 2022 forecast compares with 14% annual growth rate in 2021—the highest growth rate in more than 20 years—and notably above the 10-year, pre-pandemic growth rate of 3.7%.