Retailers Expect Better Holiday Sales, but Tempered by Storms

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The holidays should be happy for retailers, but maybe not as merry as they would be if we hadn't had four hurricanes this summer.

A new survey by the Florida Retail Federation shows retailers are more confident going into the Christmas season of strong holiday sales than they were last year.

But there is some worry that people who are paying out of pocket for hurricane repair deductibles may have less money to spend. Also, people who lost their jobs because of the hurricanes may not have as much Christmas money to spend.

Today's report says about 82 percent of retailers surveyed by the retail federation said they expect Christmas sales this year to be the same or better than last year.

Larger retailers tended to be more optimistic than smaller ones.

According to a separate National Retail Federation survey on holiday gift trends, about 60 percent of consumers this year plan to purchase books, CDs, DVDs, videos and video games, and about the same number planned to purchase clothing and accessories.

Toys were also popular, with 43 percent of consumers planning to purchase them as holiday gifts.