Despite a cloud of economic uncertainty following the Federal government shutdown, Michigan retailers say they are ready for the upcoming Christmas shopping season, and many have started the push for early sales with bargains and discounts.

Although we are still a few weeks away from the traditional start of the season, "Black Friday," Jim Hallan, President and C-E-O of the Michigan Retailers Association, says expectations for an average one-point-three percent gain in sales compared to 2012, are at least positive.

Hallan says the state retail community has six fewer shopping days and one less weekend this season, but that seasonal hiring is about the same as last year.

Last year, Michigan retailers were expecting at least a five-percent-or-better average gain in sales prior to the holiday season.

National retail projections taken before the Federal shutdown put holiday gains from three-to-three-point-nine percent.