Vital Signs for theWeek of Dec. 26

On tap: consumer confidence, November existing home sales, regional manufacturing activity indexes, and more

U.S. consumers have gotten into the holiday spirit. According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales this year are expected to be up 6% from 2004. That would be a decent performance considering all that consumers have faced during the second half of the year. Holiday sales may also get a boost from last-minute shoppers swarming the malls, as Christmas falls on a Sunday this year. The weekly chain-store sales data will shed light on how the holiday season finished.

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