White House report
released today predicts that if policymakers fail to avert the fiscal cliff
consumers would face a massive tax increase. The report was authored by the
National Economic Council and the National Council of Economic Advisors.
“Today’s report underscores enormous challenges that consumers and
retailers will face if the White House and Congress are unable to work together
to address these critical issues. The White House and Congress must work
together to address the fiscal cliff, if they fail to do so, the strong opening
to this year’s holiday shopping season will soon be a distant memory as
consumers prepare for a massive tax increase,” said
RILA President Sandy Kennedy.
effects of the fiscal cliff are likely to be felt long before it is actually
reached. In 2011, when Congress and the White House fought over an increase to
the debt ceiling, consumer confidence plummeted. According to figures
from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan, during the debt ceiling
debate consumer sentiment reached near historic lows and took more than five
months to rebound to pre-debate levels.
report highlights the important role that the retail industry plays in the
economy, “the business of selling goods and services to millions of Americans
is critical to the broader economy. The retail industry employs 14.8 million
Americans, and has been a key part of the recovery. In the 40 months since the
recession ended in June 2009, the retail industry alone has been responsible
for more than 9 percent of overall employment growth and has added 438,000 jobs
in the past 32 months.”
Industry Leaders Association (RILA) is a trade association of the largest and
most successful companies in the retail industry. Its member companies
include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers,
which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales. RILA
members operate more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and
distribution centers, have facilities in all 50 states, and provide millions of
jobs domestically and worldwide.