NRF Data Shows Thanksgiving Weekend is Primed to Be a Historic One

The Thanksgiving-Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend is already the biggest retail shopping weekend of the year. But the latest series of research from the National Retail Federation (NRF) shows that the 2017 edition of this holiday shopping extravaganza is shaping up to be a rather historic one.

For starters, according to NRF more than 164 million consumers plan to shop at some point over the weekend—which, for the first time in NRF’s annual pre Black Friday survey, is gauged as any time between Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday.

“This year, we updated our survey to more accurately capture consumer behavior throughout the entire shopping weekend—Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. “Consumers will benefit from competitive promotions both in stores and online lasting the course of the weekend, allowing them to find the best gifts at the lowest prices.”

Of those who said they plan to shop, 20 percent (32 million) said they would go out on Thanksgiving night. The busiest day, according to NRF, will be Black Friday with 70 percent (115 million) of those surveyed saying they’d be out and about the day after Thanksgiving. (That runs in stark contrast to a pre-Black Friday report from the Consumer Technology Association in which consumers identified Black Friday as the least likely time they’ll shop for electronics.) Another 43 percent (71 million) of consumers said they plan to shop on Saturday with 76 percent of those saying they’d do so specifically to support Small Business Saturday. Another 21 percent (35 million) said they’d shop on Sunday, and 48 percent (78 million) said they’d go online for Cyber Monday deals.

As for the “why” question, NRF found that 66 percent said they would go out during the weekend in search of deals and promotions, while 26 percent said they go out because of the tradition, and another 23 percent said it’s just because it gives them something to do over the weekend. When asked what they enjoy most about shopping during the holidays, 35 percent said it was the family tradition, 23 percent said it was seeing the holiday displays and decorations, and another 18 percent said it was finding that perfect gift for someone.

Riding High into Black Friday

Another recent report from NRF provided more hard evidence that retailers should feel confident heading into this crucial time of year. According to the association’s monthly retail sales report, October saw a 0.1 percent increase in sales over September—a modest figure—but a 4.3 percent year-over-year increase.

“There was broad strength across most sectors, and households clearly have the wherewithal to spend going into the holiday season,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a statement. “The uplift in October payroll and income has generated a healthy pace of retail spending and household debt burdens are historically low. Congressional action on tax reform should help boost confidence, but it is important that lawmakers keep up their momentum and not let details of the legislation get in the way of achieving such a long-sought goal.”

Specific to the electronics and appliance stores segment, NRF reported that sales were up 0.7 percent seasonally adjusted over September, and up 2.1 percent year-over-year.

Dealerscope’s own CE Retail Confidence Index supports the narrative, having seen strong growth over the past two months as the holiday shopping season drew closer.

Rob Stott


WASHINGTON – Retail sales in March increased 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted over February and 3.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year, according to calculations released today by the National Retail Federation. The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.

“Various factors were at play in the first quarter, but we are again seeing a pattern similar to previous years — consumer spending was weak but is expected to pick up as we move through the year,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said.

“A lack of pricing power continues to plague the retail industry,” Kleinhenz said, noting that Consumer Price Index numbers released today showed prices reversing course in March. “There is no doubt that weak pricing power led to the bumpy period for retailers in the first part of this year.”

On a three-month moving average, retail sales have grown 2.8 percent year-over-year. When looking at business lines, performance in March was again uneven as clothing and accessories and general merchandise saw slight gains while there were declines in building materials and supplies and sporting goods, likely due to winter weather. Nonetheless, the sectors with declines showed increases year-over-year.

A few specifics include:

  • Online and other non-store sales increased 0.6 percent over February and increased 11.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Sales at clothing and accessories stores increased 1 percent seasonally adjusted from February but decreased 2.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Sales at general merchandise stores increased 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted over February and remained even year-over-year.
  • Electronics and appliances stores’ sales increased 2.6 percent seasonally adjusted over February but decreased 0.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Furniture and home furnishings stores’ sales decreased 0.3 percent from February but increased 3.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Sales at building materials and supplies stores decreased 1.5 percent seasonally adjusted from February but increased 6.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Sporting goods stores’ sales decreased 0.8 percent seasonally adjusted from February and decreased 4.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Sales at health and personal care stores increased 0.1 percent seasonally adjusted over February and increased 5.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

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. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

April 14, 2017

Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz, Moderator of Opening Panel for NABE and OECD in Paris.

The National Association for Business Economics (NABE) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) co-hosted a global economic symposium at the Paris headquarters of the OECD, May 23-24, 2016.

The goal of the Symposium is to strengthen linkages and networks between leading business economists in the United States and their colleagues across the Atlantic through a dialogue and roundtable that will foster debate and the exchange of frank views on economic issues of mutual concern.

This is the second such symposium to be co-hosted by NABE; the first was conducted May 2015 in Munich, Germany in conjunction with the Deutsche Bundesbank.





John West, Executive Director, Asian Century Institute
Megan Greene, Chief Economist, Manulife and John Hancock Asset Management
Manuel Balmaseda, CBE, Chief Economist, CEMEX
Moderator: Jack Kleinhenz, CBE, Chief Economist, National Retail Federation



Design Industry Business Conditions Remain On Solid Footing

Washington, D.C. (November 18, 2015) | The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) released the third quarter Interior Design Billings Index (IDBI) on November 16, 2015. Billings by design firms ticked up slightly in September compared to June’s IDBI score of 57.1. The ASID indices are centered on 50 percent; above 50 indicates expansion and below 50, contraction. Based on the IDBI three-month moving average, billings have been in positive territory since the third quarter of 2011, and September’s score indicates positive revenue growth.

In addition, the September new product inquiry index score of 62.8 is up from the June score of 58.3 and has shown a series of steady positive scores since late 2011.

Business conditions vary by market specialization
Design firms specializing in single-family residential projects report growth during the second and third quarters of 2015, posting IDBI scores of 57.5 and 55.8 respectively. Through all of the second and most of the third quarters, with the exception of September, IDBI scores for retail, entertainment, office, and hospitality remained between 50 and 65. Meanwhile, the institutional sector billings continued to be erratic.

Construction spending continues rebound
Total new construction spending is approximately 13.7 percent above its August 2014 level. During the fourth quarter of 2015 it is anticipated that residential improvement spending will increase to $106.8 billion for the quarter, a year-over-year increase of 13.5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2014.

Six month outlook – stronger business conditions expected
While the six-month business conditions index score of 66 for September is down from the June score of 74, the consistency of these scores (above 50) in positive territory suggest ongoing continued expansion for the design industry.

“Overall economic growth has slowed due to economic crosscurrents during the third quarter, but consumer spending, along with long-awaited housing and construction activity, are providing needed fuel to keep the economy on track,” said Jack Kleinhenz, ASID economist. “The slightly slower U.S. economy should prove to be temporary and not prove to be a major speed bump for the design industry, and panelists remain positive about the near term outlook for the industry.”

Download the full third quarter ASID Interior Design Billings Index Report.


About the ASID Interior Design Billings Index
The IDBI is produced by ASID Research, under the leadership of ASID Vice President of Research and Knowledge Management David Krantz in partnership with Jack Kleinhenz, Ph.D., and Russ Smith, Ph.D., both of Kleinhenz & Associates. The index, which was begun in November 2010, is a diffusion index compiled from a monthly ASID survey of 300 geographically diverse firms that primarily offer interior design services or offer interior design services as part of architectural, engineering, and other related practices. Resulting perspectives on current and future business conditions for the interior design industry are helpful indicators of changes in the direction of economic activity. The ASID indices are centered on 50 percent (above 50 indicates expansion and below 50 contraction).

About ASID Research
ASID Research provides the design industry with regular data, studies, and reports offering insight and analysis on the state of the industry and practice. Established to educate the design industry on the status of its health and the impact of design on the way we work, live and play, ASID Research offers quantitative and qualitative knowledge of the industry. Our goal is to provide observations, vision, and compilations that inspire and inform. Outcomes include the monthly ASID Interior Design Billings Index (IDBI), the ASID Industry Outlook report, third-party collaborations, and educational grants.

About ASID
The American Society of Interior Designers believes that design transforms lives. ASID serves the full range of the interior design profession and practice through the Society’s programs, networks, and advocacy. We thrive on the strength of cross-functional and interdisciplinary relationships among designers of all specialties, including workplace, healthcare, retail and hospitality, education, institutional, and residential. We lead interior designers in shared conversations around topics that matter: from evidence-based and human-centric design to social responsibility, well-being, and sustainability. We showcase the impact of design on the human experience and the value interior designers provide.

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Chiappori and Kleinhenz Elected to NBER Board of Directors

NBER Board of DirectorsPierre-André Chiappori and Jack Kleinhenz were elected to the NBER Board of Directors at the board’s September 2015 meeting.

Chiappori is the E. Rowan and Barbara Steinschneider Professor of Economics at Columbia University, where he has taught since 2004. He will serve as the representative of Columbia University. Chiaporri’s research focuses on household behavior, risk, insurance and contract theory, general equilibrium and mathematical economics. Chiappori, who received his Ph.D. in economics from the University Paris 1, is a fellow of the Becker-Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago, the Econometric Society, the European Economic Association, and the Society of Labor Economists.

Kleinhenz will serve as the representative of the National Association for Business Economics, an association of which he is the past president. He is the chief economist for the National Retail Federation and the principal and chief economist of Kleinhenz & Associates, a registered investment advisory firm specializing in economic consulting and wealth management. Kleinhenz also is an adjunct professor of economics at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management. Formerly with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, he is a current member of the Governor of Ohio’s Council of Economic Advisors. Kleinhenz received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Notre Dame.

The Board of Directors is the NBER’s governing body. It includes representatives of many U.S. research universities and national economics organizations, as well as business and labor leaders. The NBER is the nation’s leading nonprofit economic research organization. Twenty-four Nobel Prize winners in Economics and thirteen past chairs of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers have been researchers at the NBER. The NBER is supported by research grants from government agencies and private foundations, by investment income, and by contributions from individuals and corporations.