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Customer Growth Partners projects 5.1% retail growth in 2011

New Canaan, Conn. -- The retail industry will grow by 5.1% in 2011, the strongest growth in four years, according to Customer Growth Partners’ 2011 Forecast and Outlook. The New Canaan, Conn.-based consulting and research firm projects that the industry will create over half a million new jobs in 2010, the most of any employment sector, and that retail sales will reach a record level of almost $2.9 trillion.

CGP’s forecast uses an econometric model with variables such as personal income growth, savings rates, employment data, household wealth and credit data, inflation rates and energy prices; and on CGP’s proprietary retail database of the largest 100 retailers. [Retail sales forecast data are derived from DOC/Census data, excluding autos/gasoline/restaurants; and employment forecasts are based on DOL/Bureau of Labor Statistics data.]

CGP’s estimated 5.1% year-over-year growth rate for 2011 would be the fastest growth since the 5.3% reached in 2006, the last full year pre-recession, and the $2.87 trillion 2011 sales forecast would top the total sales record of $2.73 trillion set in 2010.

The CPG report also predicts that the strongest-growing retail sectors in 2011 will be home-related, including home furnishings retailers such as Bed Bath Beyond and Williams-Sonoma, and home-improvement players such as Home Depot and Lowe’s -- reflecting four years of pent-up demand and depressed sales levels during the housing slump.

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