With a shift in shopper focus, Creighton University economics professor, Dr. Ernie Goss, predicts slower growth over the upcoming holiday season and a concentration on experiences rather than material gifts. Unemployment is at a 50-year low and Goss expects retail sales to grow by three to four percent this holiday season with the e-commerce system remaining a preferred shopping method. Goss says online sales are estimated to rise by about 14 percent above last year. Even though growth is predicted, Goss says it is not expected to be as favorable as years past. He says a slowing economy has economic growth down from last year at 1.9 percent. The number one economic issue facing the region, according to Goss, is the difficulty for employers in finding workers with such a low unemployment rate. He says the hiring issues have a reverse effect for consumers with wages growing slightly and employers offering more incentives to entice workers. This infusion could translate into increased retail sales growth. Interest rates have dropped, but higher credit card rates have buyers cutting back, tariffs and trade tensions have increased the cost of some goods and weakened sales and there has been a shift of purchasing trends to experiences like health club memberships and vacations instead of tangible goods.
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