Holiday Sales

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Florida retailers say holiday shopping sales are more brisk this year in contrast to national numbers.

Sales started strong on the traditional first day of the Christmas shopping season, the day after Thanksgiving. But the Florida Retail Federation said sales tapered off a bit over the weekend.

Overall, sales are about 25 percent above what they were in the same period a year ago.

Federation president Rick McAllister said he expects holiday sales for the entire Christmas shopping season will be closer to five percent above last year.

Retailers around the country reported a sluggish start to the shopping season, with sales at some of the biggest retail chains below last year.

Nationally, analysts said consumers are cutting spending because of high gasoline prices and grocery bills, and consumer confidence was down in November.