The Economic Perspective: “The Outlook for Holiday Sales”

Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at the outlook for holiday sales.  Mike, we’re approaching the holiday sales period. With all the disruption caused by the pandemic, business closures, and unemployment, I expect this will be a holiday time like no other. Will it be a plus or minus for sales?


Mike:  Summary Answer

  • Perhaps surprisingly, some experts are predicting banner sales
  • One forecast shows a 9% increase in retail sales in November and December over last year – would be a record
  • Several reasons why: forced savings during the shutdowns; stimulus and unemployment checks, and the improved economy of recent months
  • One way to look at it – people have been forced to push their buying ahead from the summer to the winter
  • But all retailers won’t be smiling
  • Clothing and electronics have taken a big hit during the pandemic
  • sporting goods and home improvement products have seen big gains
  • I’m MW


Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics