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Holiday sales rose by 4.1% in late 2019

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NEW YORK—The nation's largest retail trade group says holiday sales increased 4.1%, near the top end of its forecast.

The National Retail Federation had expected a range of 3.8% to 4.2% for the November and December period.

The results offer a dose of optimism for the retail industry after several large stores delivered disappointing holiday sales.

The numbers exclude sales from automobile dealers, gas stations and restaurants.

Online and other non-store sales were up 14.6% over the prior year and are included in the total.

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