Retail Industry Expecting High Levels of Sales This Holiday Season

NOVEMBER 29, 2004 - Posted at 7:40 a.m. CST

ALEXANDRIA, VA - A National Retail Federation survey says the average person will spend about $20 more on gifts this holiday season than last.

Ellen Tolley says the average shopper will shell out a little more than $700 on presents.

She says consumers seem "more comfortable with the state of the economy and their own jobs" this year.  However, she says people during the holidays tend to be "reselient even if there things weighing on their mind."

Tolley says only a small percentage of shoppers finished their gift-buying on the first big shopping weekend, so stores will be busy in December.

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