The National Retail Federation has predicted that holiday retail sales in November and December will increase by between 4.3 percent and 4.8 percent over 2017.
Excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants, the sales total for the holiday period is expected to increase to between $717.45bn and $720.89bn from $687.87bn last year.
The forecast compares with an average annual increase of 3.9 percent over the past five years.
NRF president and CEO, Matthew Shay, said: “Our forecast reflects the overall strength of the industry. Thanks to a healthy economy and strong consumer confidence, we believe that this holiday season will continue to reflect the growth we’ve seen over the past year.
He added: “While there is concern about the impacts of an escalating trade war, we are optimistic that the pace of economic activity will continue to increase through the end of the year.”
The holiday forecast is consistent with NRF’s forecast that annual retail sales for 2018 will increase at least 4.5 percent over 2017.
NRF’s holiday forecast is based on several indicators including consumer credit, disposable personal income and previous monthly retail sales.