Retailers Forecast Robust Holiday Season

Expected To Increase 3.3% During November And December

Holiday ShoppingA new report this week says that retailers are predicting solid sales gains during the upcoming holiday season. According to retail research firm ShopperTrak, retail revenue is expected to increase by 3.3% during the months of November and December. The forecast is a key early indicator of the health of the economy at the end of this year, as consumers continue to grapple with high unemployment rates.

"Retailers have reason to be optimistic," said Bill Martin, founder of ShopperTrak. "We see shoppers visiting more stores, but they're still not frivolously spending. They're still buying needs, instead of wants."

Another encouraging sign from the ShopperTrak holiday forecast is that customer traffic is expected to increase by 2.8% compared with the 2.2% drop during the year-ago period. That reverses declines seen for the past four holiday periods and extends the gains in foot traffic posted earlier this year, according to Martin.

The National Retail Federation will release its closely-watched holiday season forecast in early October.