Jan 28 U.S. retail sales should rise 3.4 percent
this year, down from 4.2 percent growth in 2012, as higher
payroll taxes cut into discretionary spending for consumers, the
world's largest retail trade association said on Monday.
The forecast assumes lower inflation and continued slow job
growth, the National Retail Federation said.
Consumer spending is likely to be weighed down by a 2
percent increase in payroll taxes this year, while many workers
are also expected to pay more out of pocket for healthcare this
year as new healthcare regulations take effect.
"I think we can safely predict that many people are going to
be shopping for price more often and there may be some trading
down," NRF President and Chief Executive Matthew Shay said.
The forecast would be the lowest growth in three years.
The NRF forecast includes sales at most traditional retail
categories including non-store, auto parts and accessories
stores, discounters, department stores, grocery stores and
specialty stores, and excludes sales at automotive dealers,
gasoline stations and restaurants.