Despite predictions for slower GDP and retail sales growth, the economy is expected to continue performing well through the end of the year. According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) April Monthly Economic Survey, retail sales are forecast to grow between 2.5% and 3.5% in 2024, which marks a slight slowdown from the rapid growth seen during the pandemic but is still in line with the 10-year pre-pandemic average of 3.6%. Overall economic growth is expected to be modest, but consumer spending should remain strong, supported by slowing inflation and positive job growth.

Inflation-adjusted GDP is forecast to grow around 2.3% year-on-year in 2024, slightly slower than last year’s growth of 2.5%, but still considered strong enough to sustain labor force growth and consumer spending. Consumer spending is expected to grow by about 2%, down slightly from last year’s rate of 2.3%. The NRF noted that inflation has eased significantly due to a variety of factors, including slowing wage growth, supply chain improvements and higher interest rates. Despite a slight rise in prices at the start of 2024, Jack Kleinhenz predicts inflation will ease to 2.2% annually by the end of the year. As a result, interest rates are expected to decline, with Kleinhenz predicting rate cuts by the Federal Reserve in June, September and December of this year

By Samantha Johnson

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