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Sales surge

Online shopping growth expected

Someone holding a credit card and a cell phone.
Online sales will grow between 6-9 percent this year, NRF predicts.

Online sales will grow between 6-9 percent this year, the National Retail Federation (NRF) predicted last week.

The rise is expected to drive more increases in the shipping sector. For example, the Postal Service’s package volumes have grown about 30 percent during the past five years.

Consumers are shopping more because they have more money to spend, according to Jack Kleinhenz, NRF’s chief economist.

“Lower gas prices are creating more discretionary income to save, pay down debt and spend on travel, eating out and personal services. Retailers have benefited as well,” he said.

Additionally, employers are creating more jobs, further boosting spending, said Matthew Shay, NRF’s president and chief executive.

“The consumer is in the driver’s seat and steering our economic recovery,” he said.

NRF projects overall retail sales will grow 3.1 percent in 2016, higher than the 10-year average of 2.7 percent.

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