Dec 18, 2017
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Affordable prices to be hit if US pulls out of NAFTA: NRF

Dec 18, 2017

US retailers’ ability to offer consumers quality products at affordable prices could be threatened if the United States pulls out of the North American Free Trade Agreement or engages in other anti-trade policy that fails to recognize the increased employment and other contributions imports make to the economy, says the National Retail Federation (NRF).


“Concerns continue about what will happen in 2018 and beyond,” according to NRF vice president for supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold.

Imports at the major US retail container ports are expected to rise by 1.5 per cent in December compared to the same month last year, according to the monthly global port tracker report released recently by NRF and Hackett Associates. The year should end with a healthy 6.4 per cent increase over 2016, it said.

Retailers are doing last-minute restocking as consumers head toward the finish line of the shopping season, Gold said.

NRF has forecast that 2017 retail sales will grow between 3.2 and 3.8 per cent over 2016 and that this year’s holiday sales will grow between 3.6 and 4 per cent, according to an NRF press release.

“We expect the coming six months to continue to grow, although at a reduced rate on a year-on-year basis. The second half of 2018 will be weaker than the first half, but recession is not on the horizon,” Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett said.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, main street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries.

Hackett Associates provides expert consulting, research and advisory services to the international maritime industry, government agencies and international institutions. 

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