Holiday sales expected to be robust in Arizona despite supply woes
PHOENIX — Despite the major supply chain issues as a result of the pandemic, a Valley economist expects plenty of holiday cheer for retailers this season.
Jim Rounds of Rounds Consulting Group estimates retail sales will be up 10% annually in Arizona from mid-November to the end of the year, with online sales at 15%.
According to Retail Dive, Wells Fargo analysts estimate national retail sales during the holiday season will hit a record gain of 11% over last year.
“We’re looking at significant dollar amounts,” Rounds said. “I’m expecting a really big fourth quarter with strong retail sales into the first half of 2022.
“Expect strong holiday sales. Our overall economic base in terms of consumer spending is very significant.”
One big red flag for Rounds is that the economy is overstimulated with low costs of borrowing and trillions of dollars’ worth of stimulus money circulating.
“This is eventually going to bring higher interest rates,” he said. “We’re borrowing from the future so enjoy it now, because down the road we’re going to pay the price for this spending, but have a good shopping season.”
The National Retail Federation says retail sales during 2020’s November-December holiday season grew an unexpectedly high 8.3% from the previous year to $789.4 billion despite the economic challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
The group projects that consumers will spend an average of around $1,000 each on holiday shopping this year.