Holiday sales predicted to rise this year
NEW YORK - Americans are expected to spend at the highest rate in three years during what's traditionally the busiest shopping season of the year. But holiday shoppers will still want fat discounts, and experts cite a sharp divide between the haves and have nots in an uneven economic recovery.
The National Retail Federation, the nation's largest retail trade group, said Tuesday that it expects sales during the November and December period to be up 4.1 percent to $616.9 billion. That's a percentage point higher than last year. It marks the highest increase since 2011 when it was 4.8 percent.