NEW YORK — The National Retail Federation dropped its 2003 forecast for retail sales down to 3.8 percent growth, from 5.6 percent predicted in January, due to the war with Iraq.

The revised outlook is based on total sales expected from general merchandisers, apparel stores, furniture and home furnishings stores, electronics and appliances stores, and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores. It’s a broad category known as GAFS.

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