Inflation and the retail industry

Consumer views on inflation

As high rates of inflation persist, consumers across income levels are feeling the pain of higher prices on everything from household essentials to services like travel and dining out. NRF surveyed shoppers in September 2022 to understand how their behaviors and attitudes are changing in the face of higher prices.

See what impacts the prices you pay
The costly journey of everyday products

Follow the journey of a household item to see the many factors that impact the price you pay.

Matt Shay shakes hands with President Joe Biden at a White House bill signin
NRF praises House passage of Ocean Shipping Reform Act

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay attended the White House bill signing ceremony with President Biden for the Ocean Shipping Reform Act on June 16. NRF has championed the effort to pass OSRA as one of the steps necessary to Lower Inflation Now and ease pressure on American businesses, workers and consumers.

The whitehouse from the south lawn
NRF to the White House: Lower inflation with tariff relief

NRF advocates for removing the harmful China 301 tariff to help alleviate some of the inflationary pressure on the U.S. economy.

In a letter to President Joe Biden, NRF President and CEO Matt Shay wrote: “We have noted the administration’s recent policy recommendations regarding inflation, and we respectfully observe that one of the most effective and meaningful tools — tariff relief — has not yet been put forward. This is a missed opportunity.”

Woman stands next to grocery cart looking at receipt
What can we do?

The current surge in inflation is caused by many factors, and it will require a careful balance of fiscal and monetary policy solutions to bring it under control.

NRF offers three ways Congress can help lower inflation now, including actions around tariffs, the supply chain and labor.

Join NRF in telling Congress to lower inflation now.

Tell Congress

At the U.S. Chamber of Commerce C100 meeting NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay met with the U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Cohen, Ambassador of Canada to the United States Kirsten Hillman, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Suzanne Clark, to discuss tariffs and trade.


At the U.S. Chamber of Commerce C100 meeting NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay met with the U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Cohen, Ambassador of Canada to the United States Kirsten Hillman, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Suzanne Clark, to discuss tariffs and trade. 


National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay joins ‘Closing Bell’ to discuss the future of retail amid rising inflation.


Watch NRF President and CEO, Matthew Shay, discuss the current state of retail and the consumer.

Closing Bell May 2022
Tame inflation through tariff relief

As we continue to face the highest rate of inflation in decades, the Biden administration should be looking at all options to provide relief to help U.S. businesses, workers and consumers. Tariffs cost the average American household more than $1,200 in 2020 and do not achieve their desired goal in respect to China. 

Retailers and inflation

Costs are also rising for retail businesses. While retailers are doing everything they can to keep prices down, many have been forced to increase prices on goods to match increased costs. Retailers are paying higher energy bills and rents, not to mention the increasing cost of goods, transportation and wages.

Why are we experiencing record inflation?

Prices of goods and services are soaring due to record levels of inflation in the United States. How did we get here? 

Flush with savings from government stimulus programs, in the midst of the pandemic consumers shifted their spending from services to goods due to COVID-19 restrictions. That increase in demand placed enormous strain on the global supply chain. 

Combined with preexisting supply chain disruptions, the demand increase caused prices to rise beginning in April 2021. Since then, inflation has reached a 40-year high and cut into consumers’ spending power.

More on inflation

4 things retailers need to know about inflation
How inflation is affecting consumer behavior and what businesses can do.
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Inflation fuels food price increases
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Global conflicts and bad government policies lead to higher food costs.
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The impact of inflation on retail
Inflation prices
Retail Gets Real episode 259: NRF’s head of research describes what’s driving up prices and where we go from here.
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Inflation hits Main Street
Main Street shopping
Small retailers grapple with cautious customers and rising costs.
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Retail Sales Grew in September, But Core Year-Over-Year Gains Are Slowing
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Retail sales continued to grow in September even as consumers faced continuing economic pressures.
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NRF Economist Says U.S. Economy Still Shows Resilience
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The economy is growing even as labor disputes and uncertainty created by Congress add to ongoing challenges.
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More on the economy

Monthly Economic Review
NRF’s chief economist Jack Kleinhenz reviews the state of the U.S. economy every month.
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Retail Sales
Monthly retail sales figures from NRF, excluding automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.
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NRF Forecasts Annual Retail Sales to Grow Between 6 and 8 Percent
The NRF issued its annual forecast, anticipating that retail sales will grow between 6 percent and 8 percent in 2022.
Read more