There are some promising signs for consumer spending.
Citing several positive economic indicators, The National Retail Federation raised its full-year sales forecast to 3.4 percent growth from 3.1 percent, CNBC reports. The NRF, the article explains, said improvements in the housing market, job growth and higher wages are three factors that should boost consumer sentiment in the coming months. The group is also upping its projections for online sales, calling for a 7 to 10 percent increase compared its prior forecast of a 6 to 9 percent increase.
"Economic indicators are showing positive trends for retail," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a news release. "Challenges remain, with some greater than others depending on the retail category, but consumer confidence remains high." Those challenges seem greater for department stores, as sales last month decreased by 3.7 percent compared to last year, the article adds.