2008 U.S. Holiday Sales Expected To Reach $98 Billion

2008 U.S. Holiday Sales Expected To Reach $98 Billion

This year, U.S. consumers are expected to spend more than $98 billion during the November-December holiday retail season, Nielsen reported Thursday.

Nielsen’s holiday retail forecast predicts a 4.7% gain in dollar sales over 2007.  Unit sales, however, are expected to be virtually flat (-0.8%) versus a year ago.

The forecast includes projected sales at food stores, drug stores, mass merchandisers, and convenience stores, across 125 product categories tracked by Nielsen.

With the economy in turmoil, the 2008 holiday season will be closely watched for indications of declining consumer spending.  Declines in consumer spending were last recorded in the fourth quarter of 1991, during the recession of the early 1990s.

Go behind the numbers: read NielsenWire’s Q&A with James Russo, co-author of Nielsen’s holiday retail forecast.

View in depth data on holiday retail sales projections and consumer spending expectations.

View the full press release.

Read coverage of Nielsen’s findings in Convenience Store News and Adweek.

Submit questions about the report to Nielsen forecast co-authors, James Russo and Todd Hale, by commenting below.