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A survey from the National Retail Federation trade group found the average consumer expects to drop about $1,007 on holiday gifts and related purchases, up 4.1 percent from a year earlier.
In-store and online retail sales from Oct. 28 to Dec. 24 increased 0.7 percent relative to the same period a year ago, according to a report released Dec. 25.
After seven years of antitrust litigation and negotiations between Visa, MasterCard and some of the country’s largest retailers and trade associations, a $7.2 billion settlement over so-called “swipe fees” was filed Oct. 19 with the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.
As major retail chains gear up for the 2012 holiday season, analysts and trade associations are projecting year-end sales will increase more than 4 percent, with seasonal hiring comparable to last year.