News Brief

Credit Blues Likely To Grinch Up Retailers' Holidays

The National Retail Federation is predicting that retailers will struggle this holiday season--with sales gaining just 4%, rising to $474.5 billion.

"Retailers are in for a somewhat challenging holiday season as consumers are faced with numerous economic obstacles," the trade group says. "With the weak housing market and current credit crunch, consumers will be forced to be more prudent with their holiday spending."

That increase, which would be below the 10-year average of 4.8%, would represent the slowest holiday sales growth since 2002, when sales rose 1.3%.

Earlier this week, TNS Retail Forward--a consulting group that also tracks sales trends--said it anticipates fourth-quarter growth will slow to 3.3%, down from 4.6% in 2006.

--Sarah Mahoney

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