U.S. holiday season sales are expected to post the strongest year-over-year gain in three years, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, given decreasing unemployment rates and an increase in wages. ICSC believes sales during the November-December holiday shopping period will increase 4%, with total shopping center sales estimated at $488.6 billion during that period. Holiday hiring is expected to rise 7.3% to 794,258 jobs, ICSC said. "While consumers are expected to remain focused on price this holiday, the positive momentum of key economic indicators are pointing to consumers who are willing to open their wallets and hit the stores this holiday," said ICSC spokesperson Jesse Tron. The government's most recent jobs report showed unemployment fell to a six-year low of 5.9% in September.
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