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Money Daily Brief: Better Christmas sales ahead?

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Paul Sakuma/AP

(Read caption) Toys R Us shoppers, like this one in Redwood City, Calif., are now being offered a law-away plan for big holiday purchases.

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•Hope for the holidays: Toys 'R Us is introducing a lay-away plan, which allows consumers to buy big-ticket items over time without credit cards. Economists say retail sales will be up this holiday season, citing strong consumer demand and optimistic forecasts from companies like Intel Corp. and TJX Cos., owner of T.J. Maxx and other discount retailers. Toymaker Hasbro saw profits rise but sales fall in the third quarter. Separately, spending on luxury goods and services surged 29 percent as high-income consumers unleashed pent-up demand.

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