Holiday Sales Expected to Increase 4.5 Percent - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Little Rock, AR

Holiday Sales Expected to Increase 4.5 Percent

SEPTEMBER 22, 2004 - Posted at 7:13 a.m. CDT

 

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Consumers in the U.S. are expected to spend 4.5 percent more this holiday season than they did a year ago.  The forecast total is less than 5.1 percent gain posted last year.  The National Retail Federation says less money will go toward holiday gifts because of higher energy costs, rising interest rates, slow wage gains and geopolitical threats that continue to dampen spending.

Bentonville-based Wal-Mart and other retailers had good numbers in the first half of this year but have seen sales struggle more recently.  Wal-Mart executives have said gasoline prices are putting a drag on spending.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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