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Retail industry sales will rise 3.4 percent to $2.53 trillion, according to new projections from the National Retail Federation (NRF), slightly lower than the growth experienced during 2011, in which sales grew 4.7 percent. It would, however, be greater growth than projected real U.S. GDP for 2012, which many economists say will be between 2.1 and 2.4 percent.

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay is scheduled to announce the projections this morning at the organization’s annual convention and expo in New York City. According to the announcement, “Shay will discuss how continued growth in the retail industry will result in additional jobs, greater innovation and increased consumer value. But he will warn that the private sector can’t do it alone and Washington must take steps to support growth, including reforming our corporate tax system to enhance U.S. business’ competitiveness, enacting sales tax fairness to level the playing field between brick-and-mortar and online retailers, and reforming our visa system so more foreign travelers can come to the U.S. to spend money and help spur growth.”
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