Holiday Shopping Forecast

December 4, 2013 Updated Dec 4, 2013 at 9:40 AM EDT

By Elizabeth Carey

December 4, 2013 Updated Dec 4, 2013 at 9:40 AM EDT

Retailers aren't saying 'Bah Humbug' just yet, but holiday sales might not be as high as expected.

The latest numbers from research firm IBISWorld show that holiday sales figures will be up, but only by about three percent.

Researchers say retailers are in for another slow holiday season, with revenue from December 1 to the 31st, growing only 3.4 percent compared to 2012 totals.

Overall sales are projected to reach $68.9 billion. Gifts ring up the most sales at holiday time. But that category is only expected to increase by 3.1 percent.

Researchers say consumers are expected to splurge on food and alcohol as they opt for gatherings with close family and friends, instead of exchanging gifts.

Here's a look at the gift categories with the biggest increases in spending. Toys, sporting goods and hobbies are expected to see the biggest increase at nearly 8 percent.

Jewelry and electronics sales should be up 7 percent, while gift cards should go up about 3 percent.

One area that is expected to see a cutback is clothing, down about half a percent.

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