The immediate pressure to stock up on merchandise has passed but retailers remain concerned.
Retailers hired 576,800 seasonal workers for holidays.
NRF sent a letter to the White House urging the administration to forgo the increase.
The average shopper spent $313.29 on gifts and other holiday items over the five-day period.
Fifty percent of consumers who own smartphones or tablets said they would use them to research their holiday purchases.
Retail employment nearly unchanged from September.
Consumers will spend 4.1 percent more than last year during winter holidays, according to NRF survey.
The September numbers come as retail continues a long-term pattern of increased sales.
Overall, U.S. businesses added 134,000 jobs over August, the Labor Department said.
NRF forecasts holiday sales will increase between 4.3 and 4.8 percent.
Sign up to get our free daily eNewsletter.
Get updates of our Top Stories, Industry Releases, Industry Insight, Industry Careers listings, member Rewards, and more every business day.
If you previously signed up, but haven't been getting it, please resubscribe. Re-subscribing will override your spam filters.