It’s still technically summer.

But Deloitte has already released its projections for Christmas spending this year.

The international accounting company says that sales growth will largely depend on how much wealthy households splurge and how different pandemic-related factors play out.

For now, Deloitte is projecting that sales will be up 1% to 1.5% over last year.

That would be a total of between $1.147 trillion and $1.152 trillion from November to January.

Last year, Deloitte predicted that retail sales would be up between 4.5% and 5%.

They were actually up 4.1%

The National Retail Federation says that “consumer spending slowed in August as some federal relief measures, including the $600 weekly unemployment subsidy, ended in July.”

Sales were up 0.1% from July, it said.

But the figures were still up a healthy 5.6% from a year earlier.

The U.S. Census Bureau, which includes more categories than the NRF, said overall retail sales rose 0.6% from July and 2.6% from a year earlier.

The August NRF numbers come after a 0.6% monthly increase and 9.6% year-over-year increase in July.

• A lot of companies have frozen or cut pay during the pandemic.

But some retailers are offering better pay.

{div}Hobby Lobby, which operates 932 stores and has more than 43,000 employees, said last week that it is raising its minimum wage for full-time employees to $17 per hour, effective Oct. 1.

Walmart is raising the pay for its current salaried digital, asset protection and auto care center assistant managers to between $18 and $21 an hour.

And it can go up to $30 an hour in su%ers.

The minimum for hourly workers in the deli and bakery areas will increase from $11 an hour to $15 or higher.

Most workers in auto care centers will see a base pay increase of $1 or more per hour, the company said.

Overall, Walmart said, 165,000 hourly workers will see the raises in October.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301

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