Firm boosts holiday shopping forecast

ShopperTrak, a Chicago-based research firm, is announcing it’s upgrading its holiday sales forecast, a day after the nation’s largest retail group boosted its outlook.

ShopperTrak now believes that sales for the November and December period combined will rise 3.7 percent. That’s up from the original 3 percent growth forecast issued in September when the economy’s recovery looked more uncertain.

The 3.7 percent forecast is still below the 4.1 percent growth registered in the year-ago period, according to ShopperTrak’s measure.

The National Retail Federation said Thursday it now expects holiday sales to rise 3.8 percent, up from the 2.8 percent forecast made in early October.

ShopperTrak measures foot traffic in 25,000 stores in the U.S. and blends those figures with economic data.

Associated Press