Holiday Sales Rise 4.1 Percent

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

A major retail trade organization is announcing that holiday sales rose 4.1 percent, better than its forecast for a 3.8 percent gain. But the season was clouded by heavy discounting needed to get shoppers to spend.

The National Retail Federation said Thursday that retail sales for November and December combined totaled $471.5 billion. December
sales rose 4.1 percent compared with a year ago, but declined 0.06
percent from November.

The overall 4.1 percent pace for the holiday 2011 season was below the 5.2 percent increase for holiday 2010 but it was still above the 2.6 percent average over the past 10 years.

NRF upgraded its growth forecast to 3.8 percent in mid-December from the original 2.8 percent made in early October when the economy's health looked more uncertain.

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