Total retail sales worldwide in 2023 are expected to come in at $30.3 trillion. This marks a 4.5% annual increase, a slight slowdown from the previous year’s 4.7% growth.

2022’s growth in total retail sales worldwide follows a 12.1% surge from 2020 to 2021 when total retail sales increased from $24.7 trillion to $27.7 trillion. 2021’s global retail sales figures actually far exceeded market expectations—experts had forecast total retail sales to grow to around $25 trillion.

Retail sales projections from 2023 onwards indicate a continued positive trend and growth. The global retail industry’s annual growth rate is set to average 4% from 2023 to 2026.  

In 2024, retail sales worldwide are forecast at $31.6 trillion, 4.2% more than in 2023, and a slight deceleration in growth rates. From 2020 to 2026, total retail sales are expected to increase by $9.2 trillion, an overall increase of 37.3% and an average annual growth rate of 4.3%.

Start selling online now with Shopify

Start your free trial

Total Retail Sales by Region

Diving into specific regions, retail sales experienced the biggest growth in the Middle East and Africa in 2022. Retail sales figures there increased by 16.1%.

This was followed by Southeast Asia, where retail sales grew by 9%. The Asia Pacific and Latin America regions were next, with increases of 5.9% and 5.5%, respectively.

Here’s how retail sales in other regions of the world grew in 2022:

  • Central and Eastern Europe: 4.7%
  • Western Europe: 2.6%
  • North America: 2.5%

Total Retail Sales: Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic

The dip in retail sales figures in 2020 was the only year-over-year decrease that’s expected from 2020 to 2026. That year, retail sales dipped in every single region across the globe.

This can be attributed to the COVID-19 outbreak. The coronavirus pandemic forced governments worldwide to shut brick-and-mortar businesses and impose lockdowns in a bid to stem the spread of the virus, which majorly affected the supply, demand, and day-to-day operations of many retailers. 

In addition to the pandemic and lockdown, the global recession, which has been deemed the worst since World War II, had consumers tightening their purse strings and cutting back on expenditure. 

As these figures show, retail sales have since rebounded and even reached record highs in 2021, and experts are expecting sales to normalize going forward.

Start selling online now with Shopify

Start your free trial

Want to Learn More?