Banner shopping for holidays predicted by big chain of malls

Growing consumer confidence in the nation's economy will lead to a banner holiday shopping season, an official of one of the nation's largest shopping mall chains predicts.

The Des Moines-based General Growth Companies, which operates 25 malls in 17 states and Puerto Rico, predicts more than 10 percent increases in consumer traffic and sales volume at its regional shopping centers this year, compared with the Christmas season of 1983.

General Growth vice-president Joe Larson said the predictions are based on steady increases in traffic and spending at the malls throughout the year, coupled with a longer-than-usual holiday shopping season.

Mr. Larson said an early Thanksgiving this year increased the shopping season for both retailers and consumers.

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