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Retail Sales to Now Exceed $4.44 Trillion in 2021, as NRF Revises Annual Forecast
The National Retail Federation issued its revised annual forecast for 2021, anticipating that retail sales will now grow between 10.5 percent and 13.5 percent to more than $4.44 trillion this year as the economy accelerates its pace of recovery.
“The economy and consumer spending have proven to be much more resilient than initially forecasted,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “The combination of vaccine distribution, fiscal stimulus and private-sector ingenuity have put millions of Americans back to work. While there are downside risks related to worker shortages, an overheating economy, tax increases and over-regulation, overall households are healthier, and consumers are demonstrating...
A Strong but Changed Retail Industry Looks to the Future
The retail industry is now doing better than many retailers expected last year as stores, offices, and schools shut down across the country. In fact, compared to last year, discretionary retail sales revenue in the U.S grew 17% from January 1 through May 8, 2021, according to The NPD Group. Even more strikingly, retail sales increased 18% over 2019. Growth in the U.S. economy continues to rise as vaccination rates increase and as more consumers, as well as businesses and schools, begin to map their post-pandemic paths forward.
A recent “Future of Style” event, hosted by The NPD group, explored the major trends affecting global industries, including...
Consumer Confidence Holds Steady in May
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® held steady in May, following a gain in April. The Index now stands at 117.2 (1985=100), down marginally from 117.5 in April. The Present Situation Index—based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions—increased from 131.9 to 144.3. However, the Expectations Index—based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions—fell to 99.1 in May, down from 107.9 last month.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on an online sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Toluna, a technology company that delivers real-time consumer insights and market research through...
Retail Cargo Imports Set New Record as Economy Recovers
Imports at retail container ports hit a new record this spring and volume during the first half of 2021 is expected to be a third higher than last year as the economy continues to recover from the pandemic, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
“Despite the continuing pandemic, most consumers are in good financial health and aren’t hesitating to spend,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “More spending translates into more merchandise arriving at our ports as retailers continue to meet...
ANALYSIS: Q1 Chicken Exports End on a High Note
After a choppy start to Q1, the USDA’s most recent export figures lend credence to the increased confidence that buyers...
With ‘Feel-Better Situation’ for Consumers, Economy Could See Fastest Growth Since 1980s
With more businesses reopening and bringing employees back to work, the U.S. economy is on firm footing and could see its fastest growth in more than three decades, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said.
“While there is a great deal of uncertainty about how fast and far this economy will grow in 2021, surveys show an increase in individuals being vaccinated, more willingness to receive a vaccination, increased spending intentions and comfort with resuming pre-pandemic behaviors like shopping, travel and family gatherings,” Kleinhenz said. “This feel-better situation will likely translate into higher levels of household spending, especially around...
ANALYSIS: Commodity Prices Surging Higher; Is This the Next Supercycle?
Commodity prices have moved higher coming out of the initial phase of the pandemic with the price trough seen in...
March Retail Sales See Strong Rebound Amid Increased Vaccination and Government Stimulus
Retail sales rebounded with huge gains in March as government checks fattened consumers’ bank accounts and more vaccination against COVID-19 made it easier for shoppers to get out of the house and lead the acceleration of the U.S. economy, the National Retail Federation said.
“The dramatic increase of nearly 18 percent in March retail sales over the same period last year confirms that a confident consumer is driving the economic rebound, and that should continue through the remainder of 2021,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “American households are clearly feeling the full effect of additional fiscal stimulus, gains in the job market and the reopening of the economy. Although there have been some recent issues related to vaccines, consumer confidence remains...
Global Consumer Confidence Hits Record High
Global consumer confidence soared to record heights in the first quarter of 2021, according to The Conference Board® Global Consumer Confidence Survey, as vaccination campaigns broadened, travel restrictions loosened, and governments and central banks continued to provide economic stimulus.
The survey found that overall global consumer confidence shot up from 98 in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 108 in the first quarter of 2021. That figure exceeded the reading of 106 registered in pre-pandemic 2020 Q1 (a figure above 100 is considered positive) and is the highest recorded since...
ANALYSIS: Turkey Production: Changing With the Times
The turkey industry has become accustomed to not getting too comfortable in their own shoes, at least for very long. Counting on external change to...
NRF: One Year Later, Economy 'Has Come a Long Way'
With more vaccines in arms, federal stimulus putting money into pockets and consumers shopping again, the U.S. economy has made dramatic progress since the coronavirus pandemic brought activity to a near-standstill this time last year, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said.
“The economy has come a long way compared with a year ago,” Kleinhenz said. “Both monetary policy set by the Federal Reserve and fiscal policy set by Congress and the White House have responded with swift and overwhelming force to support the economy. NRF is optimistic that the recovery is...
US Foodservice: Expect an Even Bigger Lift From the Third Stimulus
Checks under the USD 1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, the third and largest stimulus package since the pandemic outbreak, began rolling out mid-March. The US government expects nearly 85% of all US residents – adults, children, seniors – to receive direct payments of up to USD 1,400 based on household income. The ongoing stimulus is substantially higher than the last two in April and December 2020, which included direct payments of USD 1,200 (plus USD 500 per child) and USD 600 (plus USD 600 per child), respectively.
Recipients Spent 10% to 15% More in Restaurants Following the Last Two Rounds of Stimulus
Credit/debit card transaction data from Earnest Research, a data analytics firm that tracks the US consumer economy through foot traffic, credit/debit card spend, retail pricing, and healthcare data, shows...
NRF Says Extension of Paycheck Protection Program Vital to Small Businesses
The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay following the Senate’s approval to extend the Paycheck Protection Program.
“Throughout the past year, countless small businesses have been devastated by the pandemic. The Paycheck Protection Program has served as a lifeline for many retailers and other businesses across the country, ensuring they can continue to pay their employees and keep their doors open. As our economy begins to recover, extending the Paycheck Protection Program will give additional small businesses access to...
ANALYSIS: Frozen Tom Breast Meat Values Buck Seasonal Norm
It isn't every year that the topic of frozen tom breast meat catches the eye of market participants this early in the "season"...
Statement from Tom Vilsack on Congressional Passage of the American Rescue Plan Act
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement on passage of the American Rescue Plan Act by the U.S. Congress. The bill now goes to President Biden for his signature.
“President Biden wasted no time fulfilling his pledge to the American people to bring substantial financial relief within the first 100 days of his Administration. Thanks to passage of the American Rescue Plan, help is on the way. The American Rescue Plan will jolt our economy back to life, get money into the hands of struggling Americans, get our children back to school safely, get COVID-19 vaccinations out more swiftly, and...
NRF Forecasts Retail Sales to Exceed $4.33T in 2021 as Vaccine Rollout Expands
The National Retail Federation issued its annual forecast, anticipating that retail sales will grow between 6.5 percent and 8.2 percent to more than $4.33 trillion in 2021 as more individuals get vaccinated and the economy reopens.
“Despite the continuing health and economic challenges COVID-19 presents, we are very optimistic that healthy consumer fundamentals, pent-up demand and widespread distribution of the vaccine will generate increased economic growth, retail sales and consumer spending,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “From the outset of the pandemic, retailers have gone above and beyond even the most conservative safety guidelines to protect...
NRF Says 2020 Holiday Sales Grew 8.3 Percent Despite Pandemic
Retail sales during 2020’s November-December holiday season grew an unexpectedly high 8.3 percent over the same period in 2019 to $789.4 billion, exceeding the National Retail Federation’s holiday forecast despite the economic challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, NRF said. The numbers include online and other non-stores sales, which were up 23.9 percent at $209 billion.
“Despite unprecedented challenges, consumers and retailers demonstrated incredible resilience this holiday season,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Faced with rising transmission of the virus, state restrictions on retailers and...
NRF Welcomes Necessary Aid as Biden Unveils Stimulus Plan
The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay in response to the release of President-elect Biden’s plan to combat the coronavirus and stimulate the nation’s economic recovery.
“The stimulus plan released by President-elect Biden is expansive in scope, but it serves as an encouraging signal that the new administration intends swift action to support businesses and...
2020 Retail Imports May Break Record Despite Pandemic
Imports seen during 2020 appear to be headed toward a new record despite the coronavirus pandemic, and remain at high levels as 2021 begins, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
“Nobody would have thought last spring that 2020 would be a record year for imports, but it was clearly an unpredictable year,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Consumers and retailers once again proved their resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges. Thanks in part to government stimulus, retail sales saw...
NRF Chief Economist says Latest Stimulus will Help Continue Recovery from Pandemic
Economic challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic will continue in 2021, but stimulus legislation signed into law just after Christmas will help maintain and accelerate the nation’s ongoing recovery, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said.
“As we closed out 2020, it was an end to a whirlwind year whose challenging economic environment will almost certainly continue in 2021,” Kleinhenz said. “The coming year might be just as eventful as the economic recovery faces many uncertainties...
Poultry Quarterly Q1 2021: A Perfect Storm in 1H, Initial Recovery in 2H 2021
After the big disruption caused by Covid-19 in 2020, the poultry industry will face additional challenges in 2021, especially in 1H. Covid-19 will place ongoing pressure on foodservice and trade, and the consequent slow economic growth will lead to more price-driven market conditions. As market fundamentals appear challenging for 2021, the poultry industry should prepare for a tough year.
“Looking forward, we see four main challenges for the global poultry industry: ongoing Covid-19 impacts on markets, high and volatile feed prices, China’s African swine fever recovery, and...
NAMI’s Challenge of California’s Prop 12 Receives Key Support
The North American Meat Institute’s (Meat Institute) lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 12 (Prop 12) received key support from the federal government and 20 states with the filing of two amicus briefs.
The U.S. Department of Justice filed an amicus brief in support of the Meat Institute’s petition for rehearing en banc in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
In addition, the States of...
Plant-Based Dairy and Egg Product Sales Reach $4 Billion in 2020
Market research firm Packaged Facts projects retail sales of plant-based dairy and egg products will rise at an average annual rate of 6.0%, reaching $5.2 billion by 2024. This is up from $4.3 billion in estimated sales in 2020, which itself is up from $3.9 billion in sales during 2019.
These findings were published in the brand new Packaged Facts report Dairy & Egg Alternatives: Outlook for Plant-Based & Cell-Cultured Consumer Products.
Despite potential industry disruptors such as the lingering economic impact of...
Restaurant Industry in Free Fall; 10,000 Close in Three Months
The National Restaurant Association sent a letter to Congressional leadership, sharing new survey findings that illustrate continued business deterioration across the restaurant industry and offering support for the moderate compromise proposal as a 'down payment' toward a larger relief package in early 2021.
"What these findings make clear is that more than 500,000 restaurants of every business type—franchise, chain, and independent—are in an economic
U.S. Poultry Industry Provides 2.1 Million Jobs; Economic Impact Up 15 Percent in Two Years
The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY), National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and United Egg Producers have released an updated economic impact study that highlights the positive impact the poultry industry has on jobs, wages, and federal and state revenue in the United States.
A dynamic and integral part of the national economy, the U.S. poultry industry provides 2,139,617 jobs, $121.1 billion in wages, $576.6 billion in economic activity and...
NRF Chief Economist Says Pandemic Made this Year's Holiday Forecast the Most Challenging Ever
With the coronavirus pandemic presenting unique circumstances for the nation’s economy, forecasting retail holiday sales this year was more challenging than ever before, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said today.
“There is no doubt this is the most unusual economic environment in our lifetimes,” Kleinhenz said. “I cannot think of a period with so many simultaneous factors hitting the economy at once when formulating this forecast.”
NRF usually releases its annual holiday forecast in early October but...
NRF Encouraged by Bipartisan Stimulus Package Conversations
The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay in response to the announcement of a $900 billion bipartisan coronavirus stimulus package. “NRF and our members have been vocal and consistent in our calls for additional, targeted fiscal stimulus and the extension of expiring coronavirus relief measures. We are encouraged by...
PODCAST: Investing In the Future: John Manzella on American Capitalism
This week on Market Digest Laura speaks with John Manzella, nationally syndicated columnist on global business, trade policy, labor, and the latest economic trends. In this episode we discuss expected affects of the U.S. election results, the trade war with China, investing in young farmers, and...
U.S. Shoppers Shift Shopping Strategies to Brace for Recessionary Effects
A much more discerning grocery shopper is emerging in the wake of initial widespread panic-buying sparked by COVID-19 this past spring that led consumers to disregard prices and stock up on products and ingredients required to prepare the entirety of their family meals at home. Retailers and their trading partners responded as rapidly as possible to the sudden spikes in demand by pulling back on promotional efforts and focusing on their supply chains to keep up, which led to higher prices on 64% of more than 500 grocery store categories.
The short-term result? FMCG sales shot up $77.9 billion across all U.S. channels for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 12, 2020, translating to year-over-year growth of 9.3%. While this lift was astounding for the retail industry, it’s time for stakeholders to...
Rabobank's Poultry Quarterly Q4 2020: The Challenge of Balancing Volatile Markets
Moving through Q4 2020 and into 2021, the global poultry industry will operate in a volatile market context, with pressure coming from foodservice and wholesale markets. Possible new waves of Covid-19 will add to the market ups and downs, and the impact of a deep economic crisis will make markets more price-driven.
“Over the whole year, we expect a slight increase in global poultry production, mostly as a result of poultry expansion in China and Vietnam, where African swine fever has reduced pork availability, and also from expansion in the US. The rest of the world will be...
100,000 Restaurants Closed Six Months into Pandemic
Six months following the first shutdown of restaurants for the coronavirus pandemic, the restaurant industry is in limbo. According to a new survey released by the National Restaurant Association, nearly 1 in 6 restaurants (representing nearly 100,000 restaurants) is closed either permanently or long-term; nearly 3 million employees are still out of work; and the industry is on track to lose $240 billion in sales by the end of the year.
The survey, which asked restaurant operators about the six-month impact of the pandemic on their businesses, found that overwhelmingly, most restaurants are still struggling to survive and don't expect their position to improve over the next six months. The findings include...
Imports Spike as Economy Continues Recovery and Retailers Stock Up for Holidays
Imports surged to unexpected high levels this summer and may have hit a new record as the U.S. economy continues to reopen and retailers stock up for the holiday season, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
“It’s important to be careful how much to read into these numbers after all we’ve seen this year, but retailers are importing far more merchandise for the holidays than we expected even a month ago,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Some of these imports are helping replenish inventories that started to run low after...
NRF Chief Economist Says Coronavirus 'Continues As a Shock' for Small Businesses
Data indicating that small business owners are increasingly pessimistic about the coronavirus shows the need for continued economic stimulus measures, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said today.
“The coronavirus continues as a shock to America’s small employers,” Kleinhenz said. “Small businesses are the backbone of American ingenuity and impact local economies in cities and towns across the country, but responses to recent surveys highlight the fragility of many small business enterprises and the importance of the need for well-tailored economic policy.”
“Just as a physician checks a patient’s pulse to measure the rhythm and strength of the heartbeat, small business is...
NRF Chief Economist Says Pandemic Recession Could Already be Easing but 'No One Has a Crystal Ball'
The economic downturn brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has officially been declared a recession, but National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said today the key question is how long it will last.
“Will this recession be briefer than earlier recessions?” Kleinhenz said. “No one has a crystal ball. And just as it can take months to be certain a recession has begun, it can take time to declare when one is over.”
“While it would be unusual for a recession to last less than six months, it is possible that the current one could have already ended with May’s rebound,” Kleinhenz said. “The good news is that the recession may have...
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