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NRF: Holiday ’06 will be “subdued”

Washington, D.C. – The National Retail Federation today predicted 5.0% growth in retail sales during the holiday season, which NRF defines as the months of November and December.

The federation anticipates this year’s holiday sales to ring up at $457.4 billion. Last year, holiday sales climbed 6.1% to $465.6 billion – somewhat better than NRF’s earliest 2005 projection, but in line with its revised projection in November 2005.

“Consumers have faced a number of economic challenges this year and have taken them in stride,” said NRF chief economist Rosalind Wells. “Although sales gains will not be as robust as last year, retailers can still expect above-average holiday sales growth.”

Over the last 10 years, the average percentage increase in sales for the holiday season is 4.6%.

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