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Retail trade group says rail strike could derail holiday shopping, overall economy
Black Friday ignited biggest shopping weekend since COVID: Matthew Shay
National Retail Federation CEO Matthew Shay discusses record-breaking online Black Friday shopping sales and expectations for Cyber Monday on ‘Varney & Co.’
The National Retail Federation (NRF) reported Tuesday that the holiday shopping season is off to a strong start with a record 196.7 million Americans making in-store and online purchases over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Despite the record number of shoppers hitting stores, retailers are facing a number of headwinds including a potential rail strike, which "would be devastating for our economy at a time like this," NRF CEO Matt Shay said during a call with reporters Tuesday.
Congress has been acting fast to intervene and block the strike before next week's deadline. House Speak Nancy Pelosi said the House will take up a bill adopting the tentative agreement reached between unions and railroads in September — with no poison pills or changes to the negotiated terms — and send it to the Senate.
IF TRAIN STRIKE HAPPENS, MAJOR RAIL UNION WILL HONOR PICKET LINES, ITS LEADER SAYS
The ‘R’ word
Still, a rail strike's potential catastrophic disruption to the economy has been topping the minds of industry leaders.
"The only R word I was focused on was the railway strike. I think that's the bigger threat in the near term," Shay said when asked about the prospects of a recession.