Holiday sales this year might exceed previous estimates, according to National Retail Federation’s (NRF) latest calculations.
Spending in November and December could increase up to 11.5% compared with last year’s holiday season, which would be higher than what NRF had previously predicted.
Previous estimates projected an increase in holiday sales between 8.5% and 10.5%, with November and December sales reaching a record $834.4 billion to $859 billion.
“People have the ability to spend and I think they are in the mood to spend,” said NRF economist Jack Kleinhenz.
Some of the factors that are helping fuel an increased demand include low unemployment rates, high savings and an overall desire to reunite for the holidays, he added.
That being said, there are other factors at play that could negatively impact sales in the final stretch of the holiday season. This includes the spread of the Omicron variant, which could impact consumer confidence and their interest in socializing.
“There’s no crystal ball to provide a definitive answer, but the latest data is encouraging and provides useful insights,” he said.
“In fact, the season could turn out even better than we expected.”
Based on data from last year, Kleinhenz expects consumers to keep spending even if they have already bought their holiday gifts.
“If you look If you look at what happened last November, we had an early October and we had a very, very strong November,” he said. “People are creatures of habit. There’s still a lot of time between now and the holidays.”