NRF Significantly Upgrades Holiday Forecast

Citing “better than expected holiday sales,” the National Retail Federation has significantly upgraded its holiday sales forecast.

It now expects overall holiday sales to rise 3.8 percent his year to a record $469.1 billion. It had originally predicted a 2.8 percent increase.

The group notes that both numbers fall below 2010’s final tally, which saw a 5.2 percent gain.

“After strong sales reports in October and November, along with a successful Black Friday weekend, retailers are cautiously optimistic that this season will turn out better than initially expected, bringing added stability to our recovering economy at a time when America needs it most,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement.

Among the causes for optimism: a rise in November sales over last year. The group also said its recent survey showed that consumers have less than half of their holiday shopping complete.

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