Deloitte Sees Holiday Sales Up 7% to 9% on Hospitality Rebound
(Bloomberg) -- The Christmas shopping season could see 7% to 9% growth as Americans are poised to spend more on travel and dining out, according to a forecast from Deloitte released on Tuesday.
This would put total holiday sales at $1.28 trillion to $1.3 trillion. In 2020, holiday spending grew 5.8%, according to Deloitte, after the firm had forecast well below that amount due to the uncertainty around the Covid-19 pandemic.
Deloitte sees spending on goods being consistent with last year, while travel and restaurant dining rebound from the doldrums of last year’s Covid restrictions.
“We think part of this bounce-back will be back to services,” Rod Sides, vice chairman of Deloitte, said in an interview. “Last year there was so much uncertainty around how long we’re going to open up, what were the job prospects, but a lot of folks have been able to get back to work.”
Digital sales are expected to remain a bright spot, increasing by 11% to 15% during the holiday season, which Deloitte defines as November to January.
The Deloitte report follows one released Monday by Mastercard SpendingPulse, which forecast a similar 7.4% rise in holiday sales.
Employment in leisure and hospitality has posted strong gains in recent months, but there have been some signs of a slowdown. The August jobs report released earlier this month showed that employment in the hospitality sector was flat.
Despite the expected growth, the retail sector is facing supply-chain disruptions, which many executives are saying are worse than at this time last year. That’s creating mounting concerns that merchandise for the holidays coming from overseas will be delayed. The surges of the delta variant of Covid in parts of the country could also shift consumer behavior.
“There’s been a lot of signaling from many folks for the last several weeks that you’ll probably need to go out and get out into the marketplace and shop earlier this year,” Sides said. “It’s interesting to see how it impacts the psyche of the holiday shopper.”
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