U.S. retail sales to rise 6.5% to 8.2% in 2021, as Covid vaccine triggers fastest economic growth in over two decades, NRF says


Customers wearing protective masks exit a Uniqlo store in San Francisco, California, on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Retail sales are expected to grow this year between 6.5% and 8.2%, amounting to more than $4.33 trillion in sales, as the U.S. economy begins to reopen, and more and more individuals receive the Covid vaccine, the National Retail Federation said Wednesday.

A preliminary reading shows that retail sales grew 6.7% to $4.06 trillion last year, the industry’s leading trade group said. That was largely boosted by nearly 22% growth online.

Over the course of the year, more Americans turned to websites and apps to buy groceries, comfortable clothing and home goods. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants. 

“The trajectory of the economy is predicated on the effectiveness of the vaccine and its distribution,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a statement.

“Our principal assumption is that that the vaccination will be effective and permits accelerated growth during the mid-year,” he said. “The economy is expected to see its fastest growth in over two decades.” 

Read the full release from NRF here.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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