Researchers expect Ohio holiday retail growth

FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, file photo, shoppers enter a Best Buy as the store opens on Thanksgiving Day, in Overland Park, Kan. Despite positive economic signs, holiday shoppers will only spend if they get big discounts. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, file photo, shoppers enter a Best Buy as the store opens on Thanksgiving Day, in Overland Park, Kan. Despite positive economic signs, holiday shoppers will only spend if they get big discounts. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Economic researchers expect Ohio retail spending to grow above national projections during the pivotal holiday shopping period that picks up later this week with Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales.

The University of Cincinnati Economics Center projects retail sales to rise 4.2 percent in the November-December period, a boost of $600 million over the 2014 season. The National Retail Federation expects holiday spending this year to jump nationally by 3.7 percent.

Michael Jones, of the UC center, says Ohio’s rebounding economy has continued to add jobs with unemployment lower than the national rate. He also says that lower gas prices help provide more disposable income amid strong consumer confidence.

The retail growth is expected to be highest in the Cincinnati area, with 5.6 percent projected, followed by Columbus at 4.6 percent.

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