US holiday sales in 2023 are expected to reach between $957.3bn and $966.6bn, up between 3% and 4% against fiscal 2022, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).
Although the forecast rate rise is slower compared with the past three years, holiday spending this year is consistent with the average annual holiday growth of 3.6% from 2010 to 2019.
The NRF also expects sales for online and other non-stores to increase between 7% and 9% to a total of between $273.7bn and $278.8bn during the season, compared with $255.8bn in 2022.
Retailers are expected to hire between 345,000 and 450,000 seasonal workers in 2023, against 391,000 seasonal hires the previous year.
In September 2023, Macy’s announced plans to hire 38,000 full and part-time workers for the holiday period.
E-commerce major Amazon also plans to hire 250,000 workers for the season.
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NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz stated: “Consumers remain in the driver’s seat, and are resilient despite headwinds of inflation, higher gas prices, stringent credit conditions and elevated interest rates.
“We expect spending to continue through the end of the year on a range of items and experiences, but at a slower pace. Solid job and wage growth will be contributing factors this holiday season, and consumers will be looking for deals and discounts to stretch their dollars.
“For all that the consumer has kept the economy afloat, the composition of spending from goods to services will also define holiday sales trends. Service spending growth is strong and is growing faster than goods spending. The amount of spending on services is back in line with pre-pandemic trends.”