Forecasters Predict 2015 Will Be the Biggest Year for Retail Since 2011

Sales are expected to increase by more than 4 percent in 2015.
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Chantal Fernandez
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Sales are expected to increase by more than 4 percent in 2015.
Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

2015 is going to be a good year for retail, according to the National Retail Federation. The trade organization outlined its sales predictions for the year Thursday, projecting the biggest growth year for the industry since 2011.

Following 3.5 percent increase in 2014, the NRF predicts that sales will climb by 4.1 percent in 2015. Online sales will continue to grow at a much higher rate -- 7 to 10 percent, the group predicts.

So what's this optimism based on? NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay noted that strong holiday numbers -- growth levels of 4 percent in November and December -- set a positive foundation for the coming year. Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said the year is expected to be healthy, but still has the potential to be volatile. Both Shay and Kleinhenz hope that lower gas prices will mean more discretionary spending across the country, though whether that pocket money will be spent at retail is not certain. Regardless, there are good vibes all around for a potentially record-breaking sales year.