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Report: ICSC sees holiday sales up


New York City Holiday retail sales in the United States may rise 1% to 2% this year as consumer confidence improves, according to research from the International Council of Shopping Centers. ICSC said same-store sales at U.S. stores could climb in November and December after falling 5.8% in the same period a year earlier.

The forecast, which came in a report posted on the group's Web site, includes some of the most positive comments yet on the upcoming holiday season.

“This year’s holiday-spending season will be a lot better than last year,” said Mike Niemira, the ICSC’s chief economist. “The wear and tear of the recession and financial crisis on the consumer psyche is slowly giving way to renewed hope, optimism and most likely gift buying.”

ICSC’s forecast is more optimistic than projections by Deloitte Research and Retail Forward, which both forecast unchanged sales for November, December and January as restricted credit and unemployment, continues to hamper consumer spending.

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