A family shops for holiday toys and decor. | Source: Adobe Stock

It’s a year of mixed messaging, but one thing is clear: consumer demand in the U.S. has never been higher.

Despite global supply chain issues that are resulting in shortages on some specific items, consumer goods are flying off the shelves and the National Retail Federation (NRF) says to expect this year to shatter previous records.

On its annual holiday call this week, the NRF forecast retail sales growth between 8.5% and 10.5% over 2020. Those increases would mean holiday sales in the $843.4 billion to $859 billion range, the largest holiday sales season in recorded history.

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“There is considerable momentum heading into the holiday shopping season. Consumers are in a very favorable position going into the last few months of the year as income is rising and household balance sheets have never been stronger,” says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “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.”

The NRF also anticipates record hiring of seasonal workers this year. The organization defines the holiday season as running Nov. 1 to Dec. 31.

Heading into the season, toy industry earnings for the third quarter have presented growth and optimism as major players, including Mattel and Hasbro, mitigate supply chain challenges.