2% growth in retail sales doesn't sound like much--until you compare it to last Christmas

10/04/2010 10:29 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor, JubakPicks.com

It’s getting to look a lot like an OK Christmas.

The big shipping companies that should know are saying that this holiday shopping season will be decent. Now that may not be enthusiastic enough to set visions of sugar plums dancing in your head, but the retail group at Deloitte projects that U.S retail sales will increase by 2% from the 2009 levels during the November to January holiday shopping season. That compares to a 1% increase in holiday sales last year.

As I said, an OK Christmas.

Shipments are solid, FedEx, the world’s second largest package shipping company told Wall Street back on September 16.

Delta Air Lines, which carries for airfreight than any other U.S. airline, told Bloomberg that it will have a “perfectly decent” holiday season.

Li & Fung, the Hong-Kong-based company that is the biggest supplier of clothes and toys to retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target told Bloomberg “It’s a lot better than last year, our orders are way ahead.”

Retailers, according to the shippers, are rebuilding inventories that had dropped to near record lows in anticipation of the holiday shopping season.

And some of them are actually hiring—temp jobs, of course. Toys R Us, for example, plans to hire 45,000 workers for the holiday period. That’s 10,000 more than last year.

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