IBM: Retail revenue to rise 3.04% in 2019

The buoyant sales that characterize the 2018 holiday shopping season will continue into the New Year, but at a slightly lower pace.

That’s according to the IBM 2019 Retail Forecast, which indicates that brick-and-mortar retailers in the U.S. will see a year-over-year revenue increase of 3.04% in 2019, decelerating off an exceptionally strong 2018. The weather is expected to play a key role, as an early start to spring following a cold winter is expected, which will be a big positive for U.S. retail in the first quarter, especially apparel sales, according to the report.

The forecast indicates broad-based strength, with gains spread across an array of categories.

Here are the highlights:

The IBM forecast is created and produced by IBM Fellow and chief scientist Dr. Mike Haydock, and is based on his years of experience working with some of the nation’s largest retailers and his pioneering work in using artificial intelligence to create predictive models, IBM noted.