Holiday Sales Growth to Slow This Year as Inflation Hits Wallets

·2 min read

Holiday sales are likely to increase this year, although at a slower pace than in 2021, according to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast.

Overall, Deloitte’s retail and consumer products team projects holiday sales will total $1.45 trillion to $1.47 trillion during the November to January timeframe, growing between 4% and 6% over last year. In 2021, retail sales between November and January grew 15.1% and totaled $1.39 trillion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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In the same report, the financial advisory firm forecasts e-commerce sales will grow by 12.8% to 14.3% over last year. This will likely result in e-commerce holiday sales reaching between $260 billion and $264 billion this season, which is up from the 8.4% gain totaling $231 billion in 2021.

Daniel Bachman, Deloitte’s U.S. economic forecaster, said in a statement that the lower projected growth for the 2022 holiday season reflects the slowdown in the economy this year.

“Retail sales are likely to be further affected by declining demand for durable consumer goods, which had been the centerpiece of pandemic spending,” said Bachman. “However, we anticipate more spending on consumer services, such as restaurants, as the effects of the pandemic continue to wane.”

Bachman added that inflation will also help to “raise dollar sales,” although retailers will see “less growth” in sales volume.

This report comes one day after Mastercard SpendingPulse released its annual holiday forecast, where it expects U.S. retail sales to increase 7.1% year over year. Mastercard also noted that e-commerce is anticipated to increase despite significant growth last year, up 4.2% over last year, as the channel remains a convenient way for consumers to check prices in real time.

Last week, financial advising firm BankRate published a similar survey stating that half of winter holiday shoppers plan on starting their holiday shopping by Oct. 31.

According to BankRate’s survey, some 11% said they started holiday shopping before the end of August, with 14% planning to begin in September, 25% in October and 38% in November. A mere 12% say they will wait until December to start shopping for the holidays.

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