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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Sales for this holiday season are expected to increase 3.7 percent, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

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That’s down from last year’s 4.1 percent growth but higher than the 10-year average of 2.5 percent.

The federation is also predicting online sales will increase between 6 and 8 percent.

“With several months of solid retail sales behind us, we’re heading into the all-important holiday season fully expecting to see healthy growth,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

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Escalated competition between retailers will also help customers get the best deal.

“Retailers will be competitive not only on price, but on digital initiatives, store hours, product offerings and much more,” said Shay.

As for those looking for a job, retailers are expected to hire from between 700,000 and 750,000 seasonal workers this season. Last year they hired about 714,000 workers.

While the forecast seems good, Americans are still somewhat torn on spending. Things affecting holiday shoppers include the looming possibility of a government shutdown in mid-December and the slower pace of jobs being created as well as income growth.

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“Americans remain somewhat torn between their desire and their ability to spend; the fact remains consumers still have the weight of the economy on their minds, further explaining the complex retail spending environment we are seeing right now,” said Shay. “We expect families to spend prudently and deliberately, though still less constrained than what we saw even two years ago.”