Holiday retail sales are expected to increase 3.9% from year ago levels, according to FTI Consulting Inc., which is below the the 5.2% increase seen a year ago. FTI said seasonal hiring plans for retailers this year are mostly in line or less than during the last holiday season. The company said consumer confidence is still fairly high, but well off the eight-year highs seen earlier this year, as year-over-year wage gains have remained weak. "Despite the glimmer of hope the market had for the U.S. retail sector as we entered 2015, today's retail environment still lacks vigor," said Bob Duffy, global leader at FTI's retail and consumer business. "Our 2015 holiday sales forecast is in line with a year of continued weak consumer spending."
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