The National Retail Federation lowered its retail sales forecast for 2015 after retailers had unexpected slow growth during the first half of the year.
In February, the group forecast retail sales would grow 4.1 percent over 2015. That has been lowered to 3.5 percent.
The group does feel that the second half will come in stronger than the first: While it estimates that sales grew 2.9 percent over the first half of 2015, it expects to see 3.7 percent growth in the second.
In a statement, NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz blamed the disappointing results on a host of factors, including bad weather, issues at West Coast ports, a stronger dollar, weak growth overseas, and a decline in energy-sector stocks.
He notes that the “deflationary retail environment has been especially challenging for retailers’ bottom lines.”