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2012 retail sales projected at $2.53T

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The National Retail Federation is forecasting a 3.4 percent increase in retail sales during 2012.

The retail trade association is predicting sales of $2.53 trillion, excluding restaurant sales and the purchase of gas and automobiles, according to a news release.

“Over the last 18 months, retailers have been on the forefront of the economic recovery – creating jobs, encouraging consumer spending, and investing in America,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in the release. “Our 2012 forecast is a vote of confidence in the retail industry and our ability to succeed even in a challenging economy."

NRF's prediction is slightly lower than the 4.7 percent sales growth posted in 2011.

Several other predictions by the NRF contributed to its 2012 forecast:
  • a slowly lowering jobless rate;
  • moderate growth in income;
  • a slight improvement in home sales and construction;
  • rising gas prices;
  • easier lending standards expanding consumer credit; and
  • a volatile, but increasingly positive, consumer confidence scale.
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