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Holiday Sales To Grow 3.9%: NRF

Washington – Retail sales in November and December will increase 3.9 percent, to $602.1 billion, the National Retail Federation (NRF) has projected.

The trade group’s forecast jibes with the 4-percent increase predicted by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), although the latter anticipates a $738 billion holiday tally.

The NRF said the 3.9 percent gain will exceed last year’s 3.5 percent increase and the 10 year holiday sales growth average of 3.3 percent.

Fueling sales growth next month and in December is a projected 13 percent to 15 percent increase in online sales, to as much as $82 billion, according to NRF’s e-commerce wing,

The trade group said its forecasts hinge on continued housing market growth and an increased consumer appetite to buy big-ticket items, while possible headwinds include fiscal concerns over the federal government’s shutdown.

“Overall, retailers are optimistic for the 2013 holiday season, hoping political debates over government spending and the debt ceiling do not erase any economic progress we’ve already made,” said  NRF president/CEO Matthew Shay.