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The National Retail Federation is anticipating that holiday retail sales this year will increase by 4.3-4.8 percent over last year, for a total of between $717.5 billion and $720.9 billion. That estimate includes holiday retail sales in November and December, excluding money spent on cars and gasoline and at restaurants. The average year-to-year increase over the past five years has been 3.9 percent. Holiday sales in 2017 totaled $687.9 billion, a 5.3 percent increase over the year before.