What Will Drive Holiday Sales in 2021?

A confluence of factors will bolster consumer holiday spending this year.

Dave Sekera, CFA 22 November, 2021 | 17:09
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Eaton Centre in Toronto during Christmas

In an effort to beat the crowd before risking barren shelves later in the season, holiday shopping has already kicked off to a robust start. In fact, with inventories below where many retailers would have preferred to start this holiday season, the limiting factor this year for holiday sales may be the lack of product as opposed to the wherewithal to buy it.

According to Kevin Brown, Morningstar's real estate equity analyst, total U.S. retail sales for the fourth quarter of 2021 are projected to rise by 9.5% as compared with this time last year. This comes on top of strong retail sales seen in the fourth quarter of 2020, which were up over 6% from 2019. Consumers had bumped up their spending on goods during the 2020 holiday season as the pandemic limited spending on travel and services.

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About Author

Dave Sekera, CFA  Dave Sekera, CFA, is chief U.S. market strategist for Morningstar.

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