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Economy

Holiday Retail Forecast Looks Good for Akron, Mansfield

Holiday Shoppers walk in the Easton Town Center, Columbus Ohio.
KAREN KASLER
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
A University of Cincinnati forecast on holiday shopping shows mixed expectations around Ohio.

Ohio’s more than 7,000 retailers are expecting a slight increase in sales this holiday season over last year, though where those spending increases are projected may be a surprise.

The Ohio Council of Retail Merchants is predicting $25.3 billion will be spent this holiday season, a .8 percent increase over last year and lower than the national spending forecast. Megan Heare is with the University of Cincinnati Economics Center, which did the research.

“Labor market indicators including wages and employment remain strong,” said Heare. “However, consumer confidence has declined over the past year and remains susceptible to uncertainty.”

Mansfield is expected to see the biggest increase, with smaller jumps in Youngstown, Toledo, Dayton and Akron. Spending is projected to be flat in Lima and down in the three biggest cities, though Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus will still comprise just over half of all holiday spending.