NEW YORK, Jan 15 (Reuters) - U.S. shoppers held back somewhat during the 2012 holiday season, spending only 3 percent more than a year earlier, the National Retail Federation said on Tuesday, as concerns about the economy pushed shoppers to curtail their spending.
The trade group's data, based on U.S. government figures, fell short of the NRF's own forecast, which called for a 4.1 percent jump. The NRF looks at U.S. sales from November and December excluding automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.
Total spending during the holiday season rose to $579.8 billion, the NRF said. (Reporting by Phil Wahba and Jessica Wohl in New York; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)