Holiday Sales Seen Rising

Despite all of the economic turmoil domestically and abroad this year, holiday retail sales are expected to rise by between 2.5 and 3 percent.

That’s according to a forecast released Monday by Deloitte, which also predicted a double-digit increase in “non-store sales,” a category which includes online, catalog and interactive TV-based sales.

The projected increase, however, is less than the 5.9 percent rise in 2010. The forecast was not broken down by individual industries.

“Consumer spending was on the rise for several months despite dampened confidence in the economy among U.S. households,” Carl Steidtmann, Deloitte’s chief economist, said as part of the announcement.

“Those earlier gains have begun to flatten and may be tempered by persistent weakness in the housing and employment sectors and pressures from the European debt crisis. Despite some relief in energy prices, consumers may feel the strain from food, apparel and other categories where prices are markedly higher compared to the previous holiday season.

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