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October 2, 2012 9:15 AM, EDT

Holiday Sales Growth Expected to Slow, National Retail Federation Says

U.S. sales during the holiday season will slow to 4.1% this year, according to the National Retail Federation, due in part to unemployment and political uncertainties, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

Last year retail sales increased 5.6% in November and December, NRF said in a statement.

The retail federation said customers are sensitive to the 8% unemployment rate and upcoming fiscal cliff of changes in taxes and government spending, Bloomberg reported.

Online sales in November and December are expected to rise 12% to $96 billion, NRF said.

A rise in consumer spending could increase demand for new factory goods and the trucking shipments that get them to stores.