The National Retail Federation estimates holiday sales will grow 4.1 percent in 2012.
Retailers are celebrating the return of shoppers. Retail sales in December 2011 reached $398 billion, nearly recovering to the $408 billion spent in December 2007 before the recession.
Some residual effects of the recession, however, remain apparent. Shoppers are spending more, but putting significantly fewer purchases on their credit cards.
We have a photo gallery with more on holiday sales since the recession. Click through it, read “What Do Others Say?” for more perspective, then add to the discussion below. Is renewed retail spending reason to celebrate? What about the decreased use of credit? Are Americans wise to keep their cards in their pockets?