MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The National Retail Federation expects holiday sales in November and December to increase from 2017 to more than 4 percent.

“Our forecast reflects the overall strength of the industry,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Thanks to a healthy economy and strong consumer confidence, we believe that this holiday season will continue to reflect the growth we’ve seen over the past year.”

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The prediction of a 4.3- to 4.8-percent increase from 2017 is in comparison to the average annual increase of 3.9 percent.

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Although Shay says people have been concerned over an escalating trade war, NRF is optimistic.

“We are optimistic that the pace of economic activity will continue to increase through the end of the year,” Shay said.

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Holiday sales totaled $687.87 billion in 2017.