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NRF-Retail-Sales-Growth-2003-2013-Jan2013Retail industry sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) will rise by 3.4% this year, forecasts the NRF. That’s down from the preliminary estimate of 4.2% growth last year, and is also a step below 5.8% growth in 2011. Online retail sales, which grew by 14% during the holiday season, according to comScore, should grow by between 9 and 12% this year, per the NRF forecast. The NRF figures put holiday e-commerce growth at 11.1%, and overall holiday retail sales growth at 3%.

Mobile devices will have a greater impact on retail sales this year, notes eMarketer. Its forecast sees retail mobile commerce sales reaching $38.4 billion this year, up 56% year-over-year, and equaling 15% share of all retail e-commerce sales, largely fueled by growth in tablet spending.

Meanwhile, this year’s overall 3.4% growth forecast in retail sales, slightly below the 10-year average of 3.6%, owes its fairly muted outlook to a number of factors. Those include limited growth in consumer income, confidence, and employment. At the same time, the NRF predicts that the housing sector will improve and inflation, at 1.9%, will be below 2012’s increase of 2.1%.

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