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10/24/2011 - Holiday spending projected to rise

Holiday spending is expected to increase.

Despite a lagging economy and wages declining, spending for holiday shopping this year is expected to increase, industry analysts predict.

The National Retail Federation reports that holiday sales in the weeks leading up to December 25 will rise approximately 3% compared to last year, totaling more than $465 billion. Should the prediction prove to be accurate, it would be lower than the 5.2% rate of increase experienced in 2010 but more than the 10-year average of 2.6%.

Matthew Shay, CEO of NRF, said retailers are optimistic about their sales projections due to lean inventory levels and strong promotional activity.

"While businesses remain concerned over the viability of the economic recovery, there is no doubt that the retail industry is in a better position this year to handle consumer uncertainty than it was in 2008 and 2009," said Shay.

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