Slowest Holiday Sales Growth in Five Years Expected in the United States
Holiday sales in the United States are estimated to grow at their slowest pace in five years, according to a report released on Wednesday. Consumers are becoming more cautious due to dwindling household savings and concerns over the economy.
- Sales are expected to rise by 3.5% to 4.6% between November and January.
- Total sales are estimated to reach $1.54 trillion to $1.56 trillion.
- This is a significant decrease compared to the 7.6% increase in 2022.
Factors Affecting Sales
- Walmart expressed caution about consumer spending in the second half of the year due to factors such as the restart of student loans, rising gas prices, and high interest rates.
- Other retailers, including Macy’s, also warned of curtailed consumer spending.
- Pandemic-era savings are eroding, with U.S. excess savings falling from $2.1 trillion to around $500 billion.
- The resumption of student loan payments on October 1 is expected to further strain budgets.
Online Shopping as a Bright Spot
Despite the overall slowdown, online shopping is expected to experience growth between 10.3% and 12.8%, outpacing trends from previous years.
- U.S. retail sales rose 0.7% in July, exceeding expectations, thanks to income growth and increased credit card usage.
- Walmart’s CEO expects a “pretty good” holiday season following strong demand for back-to-school merchandise in July.
- Other companies, such as Target and American Eagle Outfitters, also reported successful back-to-school sales.
While holiday sales growth is expected to be slower this year, online shopping and positive indicators from the summer suggest that the season may still be successful for retailers.
Reporting by Deborah Sophia in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Siddharth Cavale in New York; Editing by Pooja Desai and Devika Syamnath
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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