News

Industry Updates

November 14, 2022

Year-Over-Year Retail Sales Growth Continues in September
The U.S. Census Bureau said overall retail sales in September were unchanged from August but up 8.2 percent year-over-year. That compared with increases of 0.4 percent month-over-month and 9.4 percent year-over-year in August. On a three-month moving average, sales were up 9.2 percent year-over-year. The National Retail Federation said retail sales remained strong, with the gain in September coming despite an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve and continuing inflation
. | More Information 


NRF Predicts Healthy Holiday Sales as Consumers Navigate Economic Headwinds
Holiday spending is expected to be healthy even with recent inflationary challenges, as the National Retail Federation today forecast that holiday retail sales during November and December will grow between 6% and 8% over 2021 to between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion. Last year’s holiday sales grew 13.5% over 2020 and totaled $889.3 billion, shattering previous records. Holiday retail sales have averaged an increase of 4.9% over the past 10 years, with pandemic spending in recent years accounting for considerable gains. | More Information 



NRF Says Strong Consumer Fundamentals Counter Inflation and Interest Rates in Holiday Forecast
The National Retail Federation balanced high inflation and rising interest rates against strong consumer fundamentals as it developed its 2022 holiday spending forecast, Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said today. “There are many factors impacting our holiday forecast, but business conditions are generally positive as consumer fundamentals continue to support economic activity,” Kleinhenz said. “Despite record levels of inflation, rising interest rates and low levels of confidence, consumers have been steadfast in their spending and remain in the driver’s seat. The latest figures show the economy is holding together better than may have been expected.” Kleinhenz’s remarks came in the November issue of NRF’s Monthly Economic Review, which noted that gross domestic product rose by 2.6% in the third quarter. Kleinhenz called that “a healthy increase that should override any remaining fears that the economy is in a recession." Consumers’ willingness to spend has been “clearly impacted by inflation” but their ability to spend has been supported by job growth, rising wages and tapping into savings accumulated during the pandemic, the report said. September consumer spending rose 0.6% from August, which underscored that “demand remains strong and can be expected to continue.” | More Information 


Imports Slow as Holiday Season Ramps Up 
Imports at U.S. container ports continue to slow from the records set earlier in 2022, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker* report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates. “Cargo levels that historically peak in the fall peaked in the spring this year as retailers concerned about port congestion, port and rail labor negotiations, and other supply chain issues stocked up far in advance of the holidays,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “With a rail strike possible this month, there are still challenges in the supply chain, but the majority of holiday merchandise is already on hand, and retailers are well prepared to meet demand.”
While consumers continue to spend, Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said demand fell from peak consumption during the height of the pandemic. | More Information 

Industry Updates

October 27, 2022

Year-Over-Year Retail Sales Growth Continues in September
The U.S. Census Bureau said overall retail sales in September were unchanged from August but up 8.2 percent year-over-year. That compared with increases of 0.4 percent month-over-month and 9.4 percent year-over-year in August. On a three-month moving average, sales were up 9.2 percent year-over-year. The National Retail Federation said retail sales remained strong, with the gain in September coming despite an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve and continuing inflation
. | More Information 

Industry Updates

October 17, 2022

NRF Says Consumers Still Spending Despite Worries Over Inflation and Interest Rates
Consumers remain worried about high inflation and Federal Reserve interest rate hikes intended to bring inflation under control, but neither has stopped them from spending, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “The economic situation in the United States is unsettling,” Kleinhenz said. “Consumer confidence is down, consumer spending’s rate of growth has slowed, and economists and consumers alike are worried about the possibility of a recession, all reflecting persistently high inflation and rising interest rates. Nonetheless, spending continues to grow, and many economists say a recession – if there is one – will likely be mild.” | More Information 




Imports Headed to Lowest Level Since Early 2021 But Retailers Are Well Stocked for   Holidays
Imports at the nation’s major container ports are expected to fall to their lowest level in nearly two years by the end of 2022 even though retail sales continue to grow, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. “The growth in U.S. import volume has run out of steam, especially for cargo from Asia,” Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said. “Recent cuts in carriers’ shipping capacity reflect falling demand for merchandise from well-stocked retailers even as consumers continue to spend. Meanwhile, the closure of factories during China’s October Golden Week holiday along with the Chinese government’s continuing ‘Zero Covid’ policy have impacted production, reducing demand for shipping capacity from that side of the Pacific as well.” | More Information 

Industry Updates

August 19, 2022

July Retail Sales Show Consumers Still Shopping Despite Inflation
Core retail sales as calculated by the National Retail Federation rose in July even as overall sales reported by the Census Bureau remained flat on a monthly basis, and both calculations showed strong year-over-year gains as consumers kept shopping despite high inflation, NRF said. “Retail sales grew in July, supported by declines in prices at the gas pump and moderately lower inflation,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Consumers are adapting to higher prices by prioritizing essentials like food and back-to-school items, and retailers are working hard to absorb the impact of higher costs and help customers stretch their hard-earned dollars." | More Information 


Imports Slowing in Second Half of the Year But 2022 Should See Gain Over 2021 
After a record-setting spring, imports at the nation’s major container ports are expected to slow significantly for the remainder of the year but 2022 should still see a net gain over 2021, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. | More Information 




Ignik Announces Partnership with Protect Our Winters
Ignik, a Bainbridge Island-based brand committed to creating more heat with less waste, is proud to announce its partnership with Protect Our Winters (POW), a nonprofit focused on protecting the places where we play from climate change by turning outdoor enthusiasts into climate advocates. Ignik, which was founded to address the impacts of climate change through smarter heating product design, joins dozens of leading outdoor industry brands that have pledged their support for the organization. | More Information 
 

Industry Updates

July 22, 2022

June Retail Sales Increased Despite Rising Inflation 
Retail sales increased in June even as inflation climbed higher and drove up prices across the board, the National Retail Federation said today. “June retail sales data shows that consumers remain on solid footing despite rising prices and an active Fed raising interest rates to combat it,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Inflation has consumers modifying their spending behavior and prioritizing essentials like food, energy and back-to-school items. Unfortunately, modified consumer behavior won’t be sufficient to offset persistent price increases. Other policy measures like removing China tariffs, enacting smart immigration reforms and investing in supply chain resiliency are needed to lower costs for American families and put much-needed dollars back into their pockets.” NRF’s calculation of retail sales – which excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants to focus on core retail – showed June was up 0.6 percent from May and up 5.8 percent unadjusted year over year. In May, sales were down 0.3 percent month over month but up 6.3 percent year over year. | More Information




EXEC: Surveys Find Global Supply Chain Crisis Could Worsen
Despite signs of lessening port congestion in the U.S., several recent surveys conducted with supply chain professionals show that economic conditions, rising inflation and global tensions prevent a return to normal. A recent survey of supply chain executives conducted by Carl Marks Advisors in partnership with SupplyChainBrain found that more than half of the total respondents do not expect a return to a “normal” supply chain until the first half of 2024 or beyond, while 22 percent said that they expected disruptions to continue until the second half of 2023. Respondents also said they see threats clouding the landscape and complicating a return to a reliable supply chain, most notably the war in Ukraine, 30 percent and labor concerns, 24 percent. The survey, conducted from May 20 to June 10, included responses from 107 U.S. supply chain executives across various industries. | More Information

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