Forecast Expects Increased Ohio Holiday Sales

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Economic researchers expect Ohio's holiday retail sales to rise even higher than national estimates as job gains and lower gas prices help fuel consumer confidence.

The University of Cincinnati Economics Center offered Monday its annual projections for the holiday period that kicks into high gear later this week with Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping.

The center projects a 4.5 percent increase in retail spending for November and December. The National Retail Federation trade group has forecast that retail sales in November and December will rise 4.1 percent above the same period in 2013.

The Ohio forecast is done in conjunction with the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, and uses sales data, consumer confidence and other factors in its forecasting model.

It projects $14.5 billion in Ohio total holiday retail spending.