Retail Executives Say Full Economic Recovery Is Years Away



Most retail executives don’t predict the U.S. economy will fully recover until 2014, according to the 2012 Retail Outlook Survey from accounting firm KPMG.

Some 61 percent of executives said they don’t expect substantial economic recovery until 2014, 2015, or later. That is a worse reading than KPMG’s 2011 survey, where 78 percent predicted the recovery would be complete by the end of 2013.

However one measure did tick upwards: When asked about their expectations for the U.S. economy one year from now, some 65 percent said they anticipated improvement, up from 59 percent in the 2011 survey.

“The retail sector has experienced some positive momentum in the past year, but executive leaders aren’t about to throw caution to the wind,” said Mark Larson, KPMG global retail leader, in a statement. “In this year’s survey, executives [had] concerns that decreased consumer confidence and continued high national unemployment are hindering a full retail recovery.”

The survey also showed that many retailers feel that the Internet is having a real effect on their business, with many citing online shopping (59 percent), social media platforms (58 percent), and email campaigns (49 percent) as having the most significant impact. Some 36 percent also said mobile shopping is having a significant impact.