The National Retail Federation today released its 2018 economic forecast, projecting that retail industry sales will grow between 3.8 and 4.4 percent over last year. Online and other non-store sales, which are included in the overall number, are expected to increase between 10 and 12 percent. The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants.
Retail sales grew 3.9 percent in 2017 over 2016 to $3.53 trillion, according to the U.S. Census bureau’s preliminary estimate for the year. The number is subject to revision but exceeded NRF’s forecast for growth between 3.2 and 3.8 percent.