- Associated Press - Monday, January 9, 2017

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts business owners aren’t in a celebratory mood over holiday sales.

The Retailers Association of Massachusetts said Monday that a survey of its approximately 4,000 members found that overall sales in November and December fell 1 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

The decline followed six years of holiday sales growth and despite surveys that showed strong consumer confidence.

The association had projected a 3.9 percent increase for the season, and said the disappointing results were likely the result of more consumers choosing to purchase gifts from online retailers outside the state.

The group’s survey only measured sales by locally-based retailers, and not national chains or online sellers.

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