Washington (AP) The retail industry is forecasting the weakest gain for the holiday shopping season since 2002. The national retail federation says it looks for a 2.2 percent increase in sales.
The group says a lack of confidece in the economy and financial pressures will weigh on the consumer this year.
The retailers group cites the struggling housing market, rising unemployment along with meager gains in income and rising food and energy costs.
It says an economic turnaround is not expected until the second half of next year.