Consumer Payment Card News

Holiday Outlook

Total holiday retail sales are expected to increase this year by a very sluggish 2.2% due to a lack of consumer confidence in the U.S. economy. Over the past ten years holiday sales rose an average of 4.4% per year, making 2008 the weakest period since 2002, when holiday sales rose 1.3%. The National Retail Federation forecasts that sales will rise $470.4 billion for 2008, compared to $460.2 billion last year. Consumers are also trading down, boosting the sales of big discounters. The NRF defines “holiday sales” as retail industry sales in the months of November and December. Retail industry sales include most traditional retail categories including discounters, department stores, grocery stores, and specialty stores, and exclude sales at automotive dealers, gas stations, and restaurants. The NRF represents more than 1.6 million U.S. retail establishments. For more information visit: “”:

2000: $352.2 billion
2001: $364.1 billion
2002: $368.8 billion
2003: $387.2 billion
2004: $410.5 billion
2005: $435.6 billion
2006: $447.4 billion
2007: $460.2 billion
2008: $470.4 billion
Source: National Retail Federation

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