Holiday Forecast

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The world's largest retail trade association says the holiday season looks brighter than it first predicted.

The National Retail Federation is raising its growth forecast for the Christmas season to six percent, from its five percent forecast announced back in September.

An economist for the trade group says things looked gloomier two months ago. Katrina had just hit and oil prices were higher. But since then, the federation has seen stronger-than-expected retail sales in October and falling gasoline prices.

Total retail sales for last year's November-December period rose six-point-seven percent compared to the previous year.

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