BUSINESS: Research + Stats National Retail Federation Forecasts 2019 Retail Sales Will Grow Between 3.8 and 4.4 Percent By Staff Tuesday, March 19, 2019 12:09 PM WASHINGTON—The National Retail Federation forecast that retail sales during 2019 will increase between 3.8 percent and 4.4 percent to more than $3.8 trillion despite threats from an ongoing trade war, the volatile stock market and the effects of the government shutdown, according to this story from the NRF. “We believe the underlying state of the economy is sound,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “More people are working, they’re making more money, their taxes are lower and their confidence remains high. The biggest priority is to ensure that our economy continues to grow and to avoid self-inflicted wounds. It’s time for artificial problems like trade wars and shutdowns to end, and to focus on prosperity not politics.” Preliminary estimates show that retail sales during 2018 grew 4.6 percent over 2017 to $3.68 trillion, exceeding NRF’s forecast of at least 4.5 percent growth. The number includes online and other non-store sales, which were up 10.4 percent at $682.8 billion. That met NRF’s forecast of 10 percent to 12 percent online growth, and online is expected to grow in the same 10 percent to 12 percent range again this year. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants. Click here to read the full story from the NRF.