Massachusetts retailers seeing solid gains in holiday sales

BOSTON (AP) — A group representing Massachusetts retailers is forecasting a solid 3.8 percent increase in holiday sales this year.

If the prediction made Thursday by the Retailers Association of Massachusetts holds up, it would top the 2017 holiday sales increase of 3 percent. That would represent the strongest growth since 2015, when sales climbed 4.7 percent over the previous year.

A forecast from the National Retail Federation sees holiday sales nationally ranging from 4.3 percent to 4.8 percent higher than a year ago.

Retailers Association of Massachusetts president Jon Hurst says low unemployment, higher wages and modest inflation are helping boost consumer confidence as the holiday season approaches.

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Hurst adds that concerns related to China tariffs aren’t likely to have any impact until next year.

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