Holiday retail sales to increase 5.0% to $457.4 billion this year

Total holiday retail sales are expected to increase 5.0% over last year, bringing holiday spending to $457.4 billion, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). In comparison, holiday sales in 2005 rose 6.1% to $435.6 billion. Holiday retail sales gained about 3.4% from 2000  20 2002. Although sales gains will not be as robust as last year, retailers can still expect above-average holiday sales growth. 

Over the last ten years, the average percentage increase in sales for the holiday season is 4.6%.  One-fifth of retail industry sales (19.9%) occur during the holiday season, making it the most important time period of the year for the industry.

NRF represents an industry with more than 1.4 million U.S. retail establishments, more than 23 million employees - about one in five American workers - and 2005 sales of $4.4 trillion. 

The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade association, with membership that comprises all retail formats and channels of distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, independent stores, chain restaurants, drug stores and grocery stores as well as the industry's key trading partners of retail goods and services. 

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