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Holiday shopping forecast to grow by 4.1%

Holiday shopping forecast to grow by 4.1%
Customers are expected to spend more this holiday season, according to one industry group. (Christina House / For The Times)

Shoppers are poised to spend more lavishly this holiday season compared to the previous two years, according to one industry group.

The National Retail Federation said Americans will boost their spending by 4.1% to $617 billion in November and December, up from a 3.1% increase in the same period a year ago.

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That's good news for retailers who can make as much as 40% of their total annual sales during the crucial holiday season.

Matthew Shay, the group's chief executive, said some retailers could get a "shot in the arm" after a rough first half of 2014. However, he cautioned that consumers continue to be extremely bargain-minded.

"It goes without saying there still remains some uneasiness and anxiety among consumers when it comes to their purchase decisions," Shay said in a Tuesday statement. "We expect shoppers will be extremely price sensitive as they have been for quite some time."

Slow sales in the first half of 2014 prompted the National Retail Federation to drop its annual sales forecast to 3.6%, down from a previous estimate of 4.1%.

Twitter: @ShanLi

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