NEW YORK -- Retail sales will grow 4.8% in 2007, the National Retail Federation predicted yesterday at its annual NRF Show here. “It seems the economy is headed for a soft landing,” said Rosalind Wells, NRF‘s chief economist, in a press conference. “The windfall from [home-equity] cash-outs has diminished, and consumers have become more cautious.” She said she thinks retail sales trends will improve throughout the year as the employment and wage picture improves -- she projected retail sales gains of 3.8% in the first quarter, 4.6% in the second quarter, 5.2% in the third quarter and 5.7% in the fourth quarter. Part of the lag in sales growth early in the year is due to tough comparisons with 2006 gains, she said. Luxury retailers will continue to outperform, she said, while price-oriented operators will struggle to grow sales. -- Mark Hamstra
NRF Sees Retail Sales Growing Through 2007
NEW YORK -- Retail sales will grow 4.8% in 2007, the National Retail Federation predicted yesterday at its annual NRF Show here.