Officials with the Missouri Retailers Association say 72 percent of consumers hit shopping centers this past weekend in what is traditionally the start of the holiday shopping season. And they’re looking for a nearly six percent increase in overall Christmas sales this year compared to last year. Association President David Overfelt says a pickup in the economy seems to be the biggest catalyst for the increase. Overfelt admits he does not have any hard numbers from the weekend sales to back up his projections, but the mood from retailers he spoke with this weekend is much more optimistic than the same time.