It could be a very merry holiday season for retailers.

Sales across the country are expected to rise 3.7 percent over last year's holiday period to the sound of $656.1 billion ringing up in cash registers, IHS Global Insight says.

"The holiday sales season is the most important revenue generator for many retailers," said IHS Global Insight economist Chris Christopher. IHS Global Insight is a unit of London- and Douglas County-based IHS Markit Ltd. (Nasdaq: INFO).

The upcoming holiday season could help to ease election season anxiety, Christopher said. In October, the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index dropped 4.9 points to 98.6 – the lowest level since May.

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