Slower growth forecast for Ohio holiday retail sales

CINCINNATI (AP) — Researchers are expecting a 1.54 percent increase in Ohio holiday retail spending, with Black Friday and other seasonal sales coming up.

The annual forecast from the University of Cincinnati Economics Center indicates slower growth than in recent years when projections were 4 percent or more for the state. Study author Jennifer Shand of UC says consumer shifts such as to spending for entertainment and other experiences could be a factor.

Total retail spending growth of $500 million is expected.

Sales outlooks are stronger in Youngstown, Mansfield and Lima than statewide or in Ohio’s largest metro regions.

The forecast in conjunction with the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants uses sales data, employment and wage figures, consumer confidence and a variety of other economic indicators to project spending for the November-December period.