NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The economy may be showing signs of improvement, but consumers are still skittish about shopping, according to a recent report.
Retail sales are expected to rise just 3.4% to $2.53 trillion in 2012, the National Retail Federation said Monday. That's below 2011's pace, in which sales grew 4.7% over the course of the year.
The forecast comes on the heels of a modestly successful holiday season in which retail sales rose 4.1%. That was above the retail group's expectation, but still lower than the 5.2% increase notched in 2010.
Although retailers declared the shopping season a success overall, strong sales were not shared across the board. Luxury stores such as Saks ( ) fared very well, but discounters and stores geared toward cash-strapped shoppers in the middle and lower income brackets struggled.
|What we want Apple to unveil at WWDC|
|Millennials squeezed out of buying a home|
|7 traits the rich have in common|
|Big Data knows you're sick, tired and depressed|
|Your car is a giant computer - and it can be hacked|
Carlos Rodriguez is trying to rid himself of $15,000 in credit card debt, while paying his mortgage and saving for his son's college education.
Susan Carson and Laura DeLallo make $225,000 and have half a million in retirement savings, but their sprawling portfolios is proving hard to manage.
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||3.94%||3.88%|
|15 yr fixed||3.02%||3.05%|
|30 yr refi||4.01%||3.93%|
|15 yr refi||3.10%||3.14%|
Today's featured rates: