October 16, 2015 / 5:21 PM / 4 years ago

U.S. holiday sales expected to rise 2.8 percent in 2015: RetailNext

Shoppers are pictured during day after Christmas sales at Citadel Outlets in Los Angeles, California December 26, 2014. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. holiday sales are expected to rise a modest 2.8 percent in 2015, as a sluggish economic recovery is likely to weigh on consumer spending, analytics firm RetailNext said on Friday.

The company, which tracks large U.S. retailers and specialty stores, also expects foot traffic to drop 8.1 percent during November and December from a year ago.

However, shoppers are likely to spend slightly more on average than a year earlier, during the most profitable season for retailers. Some stores make about one-third of their annual profits in the last two months of the year.

Last week, the National Retail Federation estimated a 3.7 percent rise in holiday sales, slightly less than last year, as U.S. consumers remain concerned about a possible government shutdown, slow job creation and income growth.

Analysts have also forecast slower retail growth this holiday season, reflecting worries about turmoil in the financial markets as well as the stagnant economy.

Market research firm NPD forecast that holiday shopping could show the slowest year-on-year growth since 2009. Consulting firm AlixPartners said it expected 2.8 percent to 3.4 percent growth, down from 4.4 percent in the 2014 holiday season.

Reporting by Nandita Bose in Chicago; Editing by Richard Chang

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