The National Retail Federation said they expect holiday sales in November and December to increase marginally over the 2012 holiday shopping season.
The federation, the world's largest retail trade group, forecasts that consumers will spend more than $601 billion in holiday sales this year, according to a news release.
That's a 3.9 percent increase over 2012.
Matthew Shay, president of the federation, cautioned that the group's forecasts could be impacted by the current government shutdown.
"Our forecast is also somewhat hinging on Congress and the Administration's actions over the next 45 days; without action, we face the potential of losing the faith Americans have in their leaders and the pursuant decrease in consumer confidence," Shay stated in the news release.
"Our forecast is a realistic look at where we are right now in this economy, balancing continued uncertainty in Washington and an economy that has been teetering on incremental growth for years," said Shay. "Overall, retailers are optimistic for the 2013 holiday season, hoping political debates over government spending and the debt ceiling do not erase any economic progress we've already made."
Shop.org's 2013 online holiday sales forecast predicts sales in November and December will grow between 13-15 percent, or $82 billion, over last holiday season.
Shop.org calculates sales based on government data including consumer confidence, consumer credit, disposable personal income, and previous monthly retail sales releases, the news release stated.
"Online and mobile continue to be a leading area of growth for retailers," Shay said.
The federation anticipates that retailers will hire an additional 720,000 and 780,000 seasonal employees.
That number is in line with the 720,500 employees hired by retailers during the 2012 holiday season, the news release stated.
Kohl's Department Stores announced last month that it was planning to hire more than 50,000 associates at its 1,158 stores around the country.
The company anticipates hiring an average 49 workers at each store, according to a Kohl's news release.
Walmart anticipates hiring 55,000 workers, according to a Walmart news release.