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Tepid Holiday Shopping Season Predicted

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Americans are expected to spend more than last year, but don’t look for a shop ’til you drop holiday shopping season. The National Retail Federation’s forecast calls for a modest rise of just over 4 percent in store sales during the busiest weeks for the industry.

“In spite of the uncertainties that exist in our economy and among consumers, we believe we’ll see solid holiday sales growth this year,” says NRF CEO Matthew Shay.

The challenges include “confusion surround[ing] the fiscal cliff” and worries about the economy.

The industry forecasts a strong growth of 12 percent in online shopping, but other analysts expect a bigger gain as consumers continue to do more online bargain hunting.

Retailers are expected to hire about 600,000 seasonal workers -- about the same number as last year.

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