Seattle-area retailers looking to jump-start their sales likely have a strong holiday shopping season ahead.
The National Retail Federation predicts a sales jump between 3.8% and 4.2% over the 2018 holiday season. Consumers are expected to spend a total of about $730 billion. Online sales could increase as much as 14 percent, to about $165 billion. The numbers don’t include auto dealers, gas stations or restaurants.
Overall sales last year jumped only 2.1%.
"There is significant economic unease, but current economic data and the recent momentum of the economy show that we can expect a much stronger holiday season than last year," says NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. "Job growth and higher wages mean there's more money in families' pockets."
Major Seattle-area retailers like Nordstrom Inc. hope the National Retail Federation is right. Last year, Seattle-based Nordstrom struggled through a holiday season that failed to meet expectations, as sales increased just 1.3 percent, about half of what they did the previous year.
Overall retail sales in Seattle last year rose 10% for the entire year, the highest growth rate in the nation, according to a report from commercial property firm Marcus & Millichap.