NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- This holiday shopping season is shaping up to be a merry one for retailers, with spending estimated to be up by 4.1% over 2013, according to the National Retailer Federation. If so, it would be the first time since 2011 that sales rose by more than 4%, a good sign for the economy, though consumers are expected to be discount hunting this year.

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"Retailers could see a welcome boost in holiday shopping, giving some companies the shot in the arm they need after a volatile first half of the year and an uneventful summer," says Matthew Shay, chief executive at the NRF. "While expectations for sales growth are upbeat, it goes without saying there still remains some uneasiness and anxiety among consumers when it comes to their purchase decisions. The lagging economic recovery, though improving, is still top of mind for many Americans."

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"Recognizing the need to keep household budgets in line, we expect shoppers will be extremely price sensitive, as they have been for quite some time," Shay says.

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