One financial expert predicts the holiday buying season ahead will be, in his words, “okay, but not great,” for retailers.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says many Nebraskans are worried about the so-called “fiscal cliff” that’s looming as Congress considers ways to head off a series of automatic budget cuts and tax increases.
“There’s definitely a lot of uncertainty out there,” Goss says. “It comes from federal government policies, taxing and spending policies, and of course, that’s having a negative impact on some consumers’ willingness to open their wallets this holiday buying season.”
Many retailers are still trying to recover from several down years. For the holiday shopping season to be a success, Goss says those retailers need to see an increase in sales of six or seven-percent over last year, but they’ll likely only get half that.
“I expect growth in the neighborhood of three to four-percent, while our surveys indicate growth between two and three-percent, I’m a little more bullish, a little more optimistic in terms of buying,” Goss says. “Again, I’m speaking of in-store buying. The internet buying we’re going to see growing between 15 and 20-percent.”
As for Black Friday events, Goss says they’ll continue to be big, but they’re decreasing in significance as the holiday buying season is starting earlier each year.