By  on January 15, 2013

In its final verdict on the 2012 holiday season, the National Retail Federation said retail sales rose 3 percent to $579.8 billion and fell below the 4.1 percent gain to $586.1 billion projected in October.

The pace through 2013 is expected to stay about the same, with the International Council of Shopping Centers forecasting a 3 percent gain. Retailing continues to show signs of recovery, but its rate of improvement has been hampered by the ongoing economic uncertainties around the world and politics in Washington impeding progress on negotiating resolutions on tax reform, spending cuts and the debt ceiling.

This month, sales have been slumping, according to the ICSC. For the week ending Jan. 12, retail sales decreased 0.6 percent, according to the ICSC and the Goldman Sachs Retail Chain Store Sales Index. On a year-over-year basis, retail sales continue to have momentum but slowed a bit to 3.3 percent.

 

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