With disappointing holiday sales, retailers ended 2015 on a sour note. So far 2016 hasn't looked much better with U.S. markets marking the worst start of a year ever.
Despite the questions swirling about global economic contagion, retail CEOs are quite optimistic — even if no one else is.
Since consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, it is worthwhile to listen to what the country's retail leaders are saying in an attempt to gauge the pulse of the nation's consumers.
Matthew Shay, CEO of industry trade group the National Retail Federation, said he expects retail's contribution to economic growth is solid.
Several economists met with NRF's board over the past weekend, and Shay said no one was all that pessimistic.