NEW YORK (AP) -- The nation's largest retail trade group says it expects retail sales will be increase 4.1 percent in 2014 amid a still slowly recovering economy.
That is above the 3.7 percent growth seen in 2013.
The National Retail Federation's cautiously optimistic forecast on Thursday comes as stores are still reeling from a difficult holiday season where they had to discount heavily to get shoppers to buy.
That weakness has continued through January as retailers have had to deal with a series of winter storms that have kept shoppers at home. Many retailers are now discounting spring merchandise that just hit the stores to help improve sales.
The trade group's forecast for the year includes online sales.