Modest yule sales gains seen

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Most retailers (82%) expect consumers to spend more or the same as last year on holiday gifts this season, down from 92% in 1994, according to Deloitte & Touche LLP's "Mood Survey: Retail Holiday Outlook." But 57% of consumers say they plan to keep spending levels the same as last year, with another 24% planning to spend less. Based on the survey results, retailers expect to see a 5% total sales and 3% comparable store increase. The average consumer expects the holiday budget will be down about 4% and is planning to spend an average of $685 this holiday season, compared to $714 last year.

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