WASHINGTON ( TheStreet) -- The retail forecast for the next six months suggests the holiday shopping season has already begun.Despite some ominous signs in May -- including a 1.2% decrease in retail sales, a 2% drop in existing-home sales and a 33% collapse in new-home sales -- the retail community found reasons for optimism. Consumer confidence jumped 5.6% to its highest level since September 2008, while the University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index rose to 76 two weeks ago from 73.3 in May and beat economists' forecast of 75. It may seem small, but with Toys "R" Us announcing last month that it's setting up a "Christmas Savers Club" for its customers, a little optimism goes a long way.
Holiday Shopping Season Gets Early Start
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