Holiday spending set to rise in Ohio, economists predict

Posted at 6:41 PM, Nov 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-21 18:41:46-05

COLUMBUS, Ohio — This holiday shopping season in Ohio is expected to be stronger than last year's, economic forecasters said Thursday.

Ohio shoppers are set to spend 0.8% more, making the total state sales for the 2019 holiday season more than $25.3 billion.

The annual forecast was released ahead of Black Friday and the December holiday season, which includes January. It comes from the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants' research affiliate, Focus on Ohio's Future, and the University of Cincinnati Economics Center.

Gordon Gough, president and CEO of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, says the analysis reflects continued wage and salary growth, accelerating home values, relatively stable inflation levels and overall consumer confidence within Ohio.

Sales figures for the 12 months ending in June 2019 show a 2.5% increase over the previous 12 months and reflect changing buying patterns among consumers in the state, said Megan Heare, research associate for the University of Cincinnati Economics Center. She said the patterns show consumers “spreading their purchases over the course of a year instead of this year's shorter holiday season.”

Gough said sales tax revenue figures in the report revealed a high growth rate for Ohioans' online and mobile purchases, with 24.8% growth in 2018 alone.

The Ohio Council of Retail Merchants represents more than 7,000 retailers across the state.