Despite a sluggish economy, the head of the National Retail Federation said Friday he expects a strong holiday shopping season—but sales could be better if the economic recovery was more widespread.
"The macro factors, in a lot of ways, look pretty good with the stock market and home prices and gas prices, but the economic headwinds are still tough," federation CEO Matthew Shay told CNBC's "Closing Bell." "We expect it's going to be a very promotional but very solid holiday season."
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But retail sales and forecasts for the holiday season would be far better off if the economic recovery wasn't so split, he said. While it is coming along nicely for those at higher income levels, those in the bottom half continue to struggle with headwinds that include expiration of the payroll tax cut, and uncertainties stemming from the Washington gridlock and Obamacare.