The National Retail Federation said it expects consumer confidence to increase on "positive signs" from employment levels and the housing market. The retail association is predicting a 2.5% increase in retail sales this year. Last year, sales fell 2.5%. "As we continue to see signs of improvement throughout the U.S. economy in 2010, overall sentiment will begin to lift, making way for slight increases in consumer spending," said Rosalind Wells, chief economist at the NRF.

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