Washington--The National Retail Federation has revised its outlook for retail sales growth in 2015 after a slow first half, lowering the forecast from 4.1 percent to 3.5 percent.

The 3.5 percent growth expected for this year would put it in line with the actual growth seen in 2014, which also required a forecast revision from the NRF in July after a slow start to the year.

The NRF said that sales grew 2.9 percent during the first half of 2015, an unexpectedly slow rate, due to a few factors--poor weather across the country during most of the winter, issues at West Coast ports, a stronger U.S. dollar, weak foreign growth and declines in energy sector investments.

Household spending patterns also have seemingly shifted purchases away from goods and toward services, though the NRF notes that this trend may only be temporary. In addition, a deflationary retail environment has hurt retailers’ bottom lines.

Over the next five months, sales are expected to grow at a stronger 3.7 percent, benefitting from recent improvements in the housing and labor markets, lower energy costs and improved consumer confidence.


|Subscribe >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.