Retailers welcome Economic Stimulus Agreement ~ Retail Chain Store News, Online Store News, Retail Industry News, Departmental Store,
Retail Chain Store News, Online Store News, Retail Industry News, Departmental Store,: Retailers welcome Economic Stimulus Agreement

Friday, January 25, 2008

Retailers welcome Economic Stimulus Agreement

The National Retail Federation welcomed an agreement on economic stimulus legislation reached between the Bush Administration and House leaders.

“The proposal put forth is simple, targeted economic stimulus that will quickly put money into consumers’ pockets where it can boost economic growth by creating demand throughout all sectors of the economy,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations Steve Pfister said.

“Given the financial stress that consumers will be under in the coming year, stimulus legislation is essential to the health of our nation’s economy and to the jobs that rely upon the strength of that economy.”

“We are heartened that congressional leaders in the House, working with the Administration, have set aside partisan differences and are working together to help the U.S. economy and American families,” Pfister said.

“We urge you to reach out to your counterparts in the Senate and quickly work through the details of this proposal so that economic stimulus legislation can be enacted and implemented as soon as possible.”

Pfister’s comments came in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, and Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. Another letter encouraging the Senate to work quickly with the House was sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Pelosi, Boehner and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson held a news conference this afternoon to announce that they had reached agreement on a stimulus package.

Under the agreement, individuals who pay taxes would receive checks of up to $600, working couples would receive up to $1,200 and couples with children would receive an additional $300 per child. Workers who make at least $3,000 but don’t pay income taxes would receive $300.

NRF is leading the retail industry’s efforts to convince the Bush Administration and Congress to enact economic stimulus legislation.

The NRF Board of Directors on January 15 unanimously passed a resolution calling for stimulus legislation that would put money into the pockets of consumers, and NRF on January 17 wrote to President Bush and congressional leaders to urge passage of stimulus legislation.

NRF’s action followed the Commerce Department’s January 15 announcement that retail sales for December (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) rose 1.7 percent unadjusted over 2006 and decreased 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted from November.

Combined November-December holiday sales increased 3 percent over 2006, which was the lowest increase since 2002, when holiday sales rose 1.3 percent.

NRF’s 2008 economic forecast, calling for a 3.5 percent increase in retail sales over 2007, the smallest since sales grew 3 percent in 2002, is based on the assumption that both the Federal Reserve and Congress would take action on economic stimulus.

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