The National Retail Federation has raised its 2016 retail sales forecast to a year-over-year increase of 3.4% from the previous forecast of 3.1% growth. Online and other non-store sales are expected to increase between 7% and 10% year-over-year, up from the previous forecast increase between 6% and 9%. NRF Chief Executive Matthew Shay said in a statement that positive trends in economic indicators like the housing market and job growth, and high consumer confidence were the reasons for the increase. Retail sales for the first half of 2016 grew 4% year-over-year, excluding autos, gas stations and restaurants. The organization said it is monitoring economic developments and, if needed, will update the forecast in October as part of the NRF's annual holiday forecast.
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