Oct 20, 2009 9:39 AM by Associated Press
ShopperTrak, a Chicago-based research firm, is forecasting that total holiday sales will rise 1.6 percent compared with a year ago, which would reverse last year's steep decline. The research firm also predicts a 4.2 percent in foot traffic compared to a year ago.
Last year, holiday sales fell 5.9 percent while foot traffic dropped 15.4 percent, according to ShopperTrak estimates. The research firm tracks customer traffic at more than 45,000 stores.
The holiday sales estimate is a bit rosier than other forecasts offered over the past few weeks, which have been at best no better than unchanged from last year's debacle. The holiday 2008 season saw the biggest sales decline in at least several decades.