High food and energy costs, increasing unemployment, low consumer confidence, plus a sluggish economy equals tight household budgets for the upcoming holiday shopping season. CNN reports that the National Retail Federation (NRF) is forecasting the weakest holiday season for retailers in six years, expecting sales between November and December to expand only 2.2 percent, which is below the 10-year average of 4.4 percent and the lowest since 2002, when sales rose a mere 1.3 percent.
"We expect consumers to be frugal this season and less willing to
splurge on discretionary items," said NRF Chief Economist Rosalind
Wells in a statement
The NRF does not expect the economy to pick up until as far down the road as the second half of next year.