Holiday sales during November and December increased 5.5 percent over the same period in 2016 to $691.9 billion as growing wages, stronger employment and higher confidence led consumers to spend more than had been expected.
NRF welcomed the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to take up a South Dakota case on whether online sellers can be required to collect sales tax the same as local stores but also urged Congress to address the issue through federal legislation.
Imports grew 7 percent during 2017 over 2016 as retail sales continued to increase and the industry wrapped up the year with a strong holiday season, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report from NRF and Hackett Associates.
Overall, the economy added 148,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department said. Average hourly earnings increased by 2.5 percent year-over-year, and the unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent, unchanged from November.
NRF urged the House and Senate to approve a final version of tax reform legislation set for a vote, saying the measure will boost the nation’s economy and make the United States more competitive in the global economy.