US retail sales for FY2013 are projected to grow by 3.4%, according to estimates released by The National Retail Federation (NRF).

The growth will be slightly lower than the 4.2% growth in 2012, although online sales will continue to exhibit a robust growth.

According to NRF, 2013 sales will be consistent with trends seen towards the end of 2012, as consumers’ spending plans head southward.

NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay remarked that the 2012 holiday season provided a preview of things to come in 2013.

"Retailers will compensate for the drag on household spending this year by managing inventories and focusing on providing value for their shoppers through unique promotions in stores and online and exclusive product lines," said Shay.

The US retail industry, according to NRF, has suffered from continued wrangling over various issues including the fiscal cliff vote.

"Consumers read troubling economic headlines every day and look at their bottom lines at the end of the month, and they don’t like what they see. Pushing fiscal policy decisions down the road will lead to even greater uncertainty, and will continue to impact consumers’ desire and ability to spend on discretionary items.

"The administration and congress need to pursue and enact policies that lead to growth and economic expansion, or it could be another challenging year for retailers and consumers alike," explained Shay.

NRF’s digital division, Shop.org, meanwhile, expects online sales to grow between 9-12% for the year with a possibility of them exceeding 2012 figures.