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The Michigan Retailers Association (MRA), the nation’s largest state trade association of general merchandise retailers, is projecting an overall 6 percent increase in holiday sales, but not for every retailer. The latest Michigan Retail Index reveals that 49 percent of retailers expect a boost in 4th quarter retail sales while 20 percent are looking at flat numbers and 31 percent expect sales numbers to drop. “While the outlook is positive, it is the most subdued holiday shopping forecast since we began tracking expectations in 1994,” says Larry Meyer, chairman and CEO of the MRA. Meyer did point out that there were bright spots in the report that could make this a better season than forecast because there is a “new emphasis on home, family and friends, plus lower gasoline prices, lower interest rates, and lower federal taxes.” For more information, click on www.retailers.com/news