“Lawmakers should take note and stand firm against any policies, rules or regulations that would increase the cost of everyday goods for American consumers,” Shay said.
“Prospects for consumer spending are straightforward – more jobs and more income will result in more spending,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Regardless of sentiment, the pace of wage growth and job creation dictate spending. Our forecast represents a baseline for the year, but potential fiscal policy changes could impact consumers and the economy. It seems unlikely that businesses will notably increase investment until tax reform and trade policies are well-defined.”
“It is clear that online sales will continue to expand in 2017 and provide growth for the retail industry,” Kleinhenz said. “But it is important to realize that virtually major retailer sells online and many of those sales will be made by discount stores, department stores and other traditional retailers. Retailers sell to consumers however they want to buy, whether it’s in-store, online or mobile.”
Additional Economic Insights:
- The economy is expected to gain an average of approximately 160,000 jobs a month. The number is down slightly from 2016 but consistent with labor market growth.
- Unemployment is expected to drop to 4.6 percent by the end of the year.
- Economic growth is likely to be in the range of 1.9 to 2.4 percent.
- The forecast is a baseline, and does not take into account new fiscal measures pending in Washington.