October 3, 2017 / 2:32 PM / a year ago

NRF sees holiday sales up 3.6-4 pct, slightly below 2016's growth

Oct 3 (Reuters) - U.S. holiday sales will increase 3.6 percent to 4 percent, getting a boost from an extra selling day and rising consumer confidence, according to a forecast from a leading retail industry group.

The guidance range, however, was slightly lower than last year’s holiday season sales growth of 4 percent.

The National Retail Federation forecast sales for the last two months of the year between $678.75 billion and $682 billion, excluding autos, gasoline and dining out.

“While recent hurricanes are not expected to have a significant long-term effect on the economy, NRF is issuing this year’s forecast as a range rather than the usual fixed percentage because the impact of the storms on economic indicators has made it difficult to make a more precise forecast,” the industry body said in a statement. (Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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