Look for a weak economy for most of the summer and into the fall, “with a bottoming out of downward pressure occurring later in the year,” according to “Quarterly Retail Analytics” from Platt Retail Institute.
“Look for a slow, moderate recovery to begin to exert itself during the first half of 2009,” Platt notes in its newsletter.
The result of these predictions are expectations, from Platt, of disappointing back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons this year.
“Our current forecast is for the 2008 holiday selling season to come in at a weak 2.7 – 2.9 percent growth rate, below last year’s 3.0,” the newsletter says.
The wild card, according to Platt, “continues to be energy prices. Gas above $4.00 per gallon will be a drag on retail sales; under $3.00 may boost sales. We believe that energy prices will start to return to ‘normal’ levels after the Olympics conclude, merging markets begin to reduce energy subsidies, new supply becomes available in Iraq and Brazil, and the global economic slowdown starts to impact demand.”
Unfortunately, Platt adds that it does not believe that a moderation in oil prices will, by itself, alter its holiday forecast.
Well, at least Platt foresees a tiny bit of growth.