The Maryland Retailers Association is “cautiously optimistic” in projecting a modest increase in sales for this coming holiday season, according to a release from association president Patrick Donoho.
He said retailers are eyeing a 2 to 2.5 percent increase in sales.
Increases in holiday hiring and consumer spending and a slight increase in sales have contributed to the association’s optimism.
"The overall economy in Maryland is very slowly improving, but remains very fragile," Donoho said. "This makes it vulnerable to swings in consumer confidence."
Maryland businesses were however harshly impacted by Congressional budget talks, which remain a factor heading into the holiday season, according to the release.
“As seen during last year's holiday season, sales in October 2012 and early November provided solid increases to retailers, but as the debate in Congress turned to the fiscal cliff and sequestration, sales flattened out for the remainder of the holiday season,” the release states.
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