Published: Nov 16, 2010 4:41 PM EST
Updated: Nov 16, 2010 1:41 PM EST

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - After two miserable holiday seasons, Florida retailers are anticipating a strong return of shoppers hunting for bargains and luxury goods alike.

In its annual forecast released Monday, the Florida Retail Federation predicted a 3 to 4 percent increase in sales, stronger even than the anticipated national increase of 2.3 percent.

Federation president and CEO Rick McAllister says even a 4 percent jump won't bring retailers back to pre-recession 2006 levels, but it would certainly qualify as a "substantial" turnaround.

The federation attributed its optimism to improved consumer confidence.