An Iowa State University economist says Iowans are likely to keep a close eye on their spending as this holiday shopping season gets underway. Ken Stone says a slowing economy doesn’t bode well for retailers and higher energy won’t help either.Stone predicts a three-percent increase in sales this year.Stone predicted a four-percent increase last year while others were predicting a six or seven percent increase. He says it turned out to be closer to a three-percent increase. The State of Iowa held a tax-free weekend in August for clothing items. Stone isn’t sure if that will have an impact on holiday shopping.He says toys and apparel should do well, although the market for apparel is saturated. Stone says some businesses might not fare as well as expected.He says electronics and home furnishing stores are likely to see slow sales this year. Stone says a big change in the stock market in the next few weeks could spur people to buy more, but he doesn’t think that’s likely to happen.
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