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UC Researchers Predict Jolly Shopping Season

According to the 2015 Ohio Retail Holiday Forecast,prepared by the UC Economics Center, Cincinnati will have the biggest increase in Ohio holiday retail sales from 2014 to 2015 at 5.6 percent.

For the state, University of Cincinnati economists predict an average increase of 4.2 percent in November and December. The national average is 3.7 percent.

UC Researcher Chris Nicak thinks increased consumer confidence may have played a role in Cincinnati, "due to new buildings for retail options such as Liberty Center or investment in Central Business District. We have a really great revitalization of a lot of the architecture for buildings downtown as well as Over-the-Rhine."

Researchers considered a number of factors including:

  • A 4.5 percent unemployment rate, the lowest since 2006.
  • A 3 percent increase in wages from the first quarter 2014 to 2015.
  • Gas prices down 25 percent.
  • Housing prices up 4.8 percent.

In addition, economists suggest more people may decide to shop at a brick and mortar stores now that websites like Amazon are collecting sales tax in Ohio.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.