NRF Forecasts '22 Retail Sales Growing Between 6 Percent and 8
March 15, 2022
National Retail Federation issued its annual forecast, anticipating
that retail sales will grow between 6 percent and 8 percent to more
than $4.86 trillion in 2022. The announcement was made during NRF’s
annual State of Retail & the Consumer virtual event where retail
industry leaders discussed the strength of the consumer economy and
the future of retail.
“NRF expects retail sales to increase in 2022, as consumers are
ready to spend and have the resources to do so,” NRF President and
CEO Matthew Shay said. “We should see durable growth this year given
consumer confidence to continue this expansion, notwithstanding
risks related to inflation, COVID-19 and geopolitical threats.”
NRF forecasts that 2022 retail sales will total between $4.86
trillion and $4.95 trillion. The numbers exclude automobile dealers,
gasoline stations and restaurants. Non-store and online sales
year-over-year, which are included in the total figure, are expected
to grow between 11 percent and 13 percent to a range of $1.17
trillion to $1.19 trillion as consumers continue to utilize
The 2022 figure compares with 14 percent annual growth rate in 2021,
the highest growth rate in more than 20 years. This year’s sales
forecast is notably above the 10-year, pre-pandemic growth rate of
anticipates strong job and wage growth and declining unemployment.
The organization projects full-year GDP growth will be slower this
year, around 3.5 percent, given the surge of inflation and
tightening of monetary policy and less fiscal stimulus.
Retail sales are expected to remain strong as the economy opens
further in the coming months, but there is considerable uncertainty
this year that NRF will continue to monitor closely.
“Most households have never experienced anything like this level of
inflation, and it is expected to remain elevated well into 2023,”
NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “In addition to inflation,
the forces impacting the economy include COVID-19 impacts,
international tensions and policy variability.
Kleinhenz added that although a roller coaster ride of incoming data
is expected in the next few months, consumer fundamentals remain in
place. Household finances are healthy and strong job and wage growth
should support solid growth for consumer spending for 2022.