What slowdown? Holiday sales seen jumping as job market booms

A DELOITTE STUDY predicts that holiday retail sales will be strong, as low jobless rates will overcome concerns about an economic slowdown and the trade war with China. / BLOOMBERG NEWS FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL NAGLE
A DELOITTE STUDY predicts that holiday retail sales will be strong, as low jobless rates will overcome concerns about an economic slowdown and the trade war with China. / BLOOMBERG NEWS FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL NAGLE

NEW YORK – Holiday retail sales will increase by 4.5% to 5% to more than $1.1 trillion this year as a strong U.S. job market offsets concerns about an economic slowdown and the trade war with China, according to Deloitte.

“Near record-low unemployment rates, coupled with continued monthly job creation, may encourage people to spend more during the holiday season,” said Daniel Bachman, Deloitte’s U.S. economic forecaster, in the company’s annual report on the U.S. holiday outlook.

Deloitte’s forecast comes after U.S. consumer confidence beat expectations in August, allaying fears that continuing tariffs would result in disappointing holiday sales. The report also predicts e-commerce sales will grow by 14% to 18% to as much as $149 billion.

The forecast tracks consumer spending between the November to January time frame, excluding purchases of gasoline and cars.

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Donald Moore is a Bloomberg News staff writer.

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