COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The holiday season could spell a difference in shopping habits from past years. The Council of Retail Merchants and University of Cincinnati Economics Center partnered to predict spending this holiday season.

The holiday spending season, as the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants defines it, is from October through December, and they are expecting growth in nine metro areas across the state.

“We are forecasting a 3.4% increase in Ohio’s retail spending compared to the 2021 holiday season,” Director of Research at UC’s Economics Center Brad Evans said.

Evans said they are predicting total sales across the state of $31.3 billion, compared to last year’s $30.3 billion in holiday sales.

“Ohio’s largest metro areas, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus will account for more than half of the holiday spending statewide,” Evans said.

Evans said Columbus is expected to have the most growth in terms of nominal spending, at $6.5 billion, followed by Cleveland at $5.6 billion.

But, overall, statewide, predicted sales are not on par with the national forecast this holiday season. The National Retail Federation predicts 6% to 8% growth nationwide, and Deloitte predicts 4% to 6$ growth across the country.

“We have some headwinds we’re facing with the economy in terms of inflation and some of the other concerns regarding a recession,” Evans said.

Evans said consumers in the state have become accustomed to making purchases online, so he expects that to continue, accounting for a decent number of sales.