Holiday sales to climb nearly 4.5%, Deloitte predicts

Holiday sales to climb nearly 4.5%, Deloitte predicts

Financial advisory and consulting firm Deloitte on Monday forecast holiday sales will climb at a slightly faster rate this year compared with 2012, a more optimistic view than that of another prominent research firm.

Deloitte predicts total holiday sales of between $963 and $967 billion, an increase of 4 to 4.5 percent over 2012. Total holiday sales rose 3 percent in 2012 from the prior holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation.

“Rising home prices with steady job creation may buoy consumers’ confidence in the economy and create a wealth effect,” Deloitte’s senior U.S. economist Daniel Bachman said in a statement.

He added that the budget debate and the implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act are unlikely to have a significant effect on retail sales.

Chicago-based research firm ShopperTrak said last week it expects retail sales to rise by 2.4 percent, a slightly slower pace than last year, saying that consumers are still “not ready to splurge” despite a slowly improving economy.

Much of the growth will continue to be driven by e-commerce. Non-store sales, mostly made up of online purchases, should rise between 12.5 and 13 percent this year, Deloitte predicts. Non-store sales are about 75 percent online, with the rest purchased through catalogs or home shopping channels.

Mobile-influenced retail sales, or those purchases that began with smartphone research, price comparisons or other searches on a store’s mobile site, will account for about 8 percent of total sales this year, Deloitte expects. — Twitter: @SamWillTravel