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retail-storeOrlando β€” A report released Monday by the National Retail Federation said that retail industry sales growth for 2012 is forecasted at 3.4%, a pace slower than 2011’s 4.7% growth.

Though retailers ended last year on a strong note with holiday sales rising 3.9% over 2010, the bad news was that the traffic count was down 3.1%. “It is mission critical to get more people in stores, raising prices is a short term fix to a long term problem”, said Kenneth Hoffman CEO of IRHC Group a leading advisor to the retail Industry.

Many factors will continue to influence the expected slowdown in consumer spending, but none remain more challenging than the unemployment rate and lack of newly created jobs especially in the Western and South East parts of the US.

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