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U.S. Holiday Sales Expected to Rise up to 5.2 NRF

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Nov 23 Reuters U.S. holiday sales are expected to rise up to 5.2 in 2020, the National Retail Federation NRF said on Monday, as Americans look to spend more on gifts during the festive period while COVID19 cases rise.

The U.S. retail group forecast sales, which exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants, to grow between 3.6 and 5.2, or between 755.3 billion and 766.7 billion, compared with the 4 growth last year.

The NRF said reduced spending on personal services, travel and entertainment during the health crisis has freed up money for retail spending.

Given the pandemic, there is uncertainty about consumers willingness to spend, but with the economy improving most have the ability to spend, NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said.

The upbeat forecast comes after major U.S. retailers moved their promotions up to as early as October and indicated that their holiday sales will be spread out over more days.

Consumers have shown they are excited about the holidays and are willing to spend on gifts that lift the spirits of family and friends after such a challenging year, NRF Chief Executive Officer Mathew Shay said.

The trade body forecast online sales and other nonstore sales to increase between 20 and 30 to between 202.5 billion and 218.4 billion, up from 168.7 billion last year.

Retail chains have been doubling down on their investments in ecommerce as people staying at home due to the outbreak favor curbside pickup and delivery options.

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