The winter shopping season in the US is set to be stronger than expected, according to a survey of importers and manufacturers who sell to major retailers.

Some 77% of importers of retail goods believe this autumn and winter will be the same or stronger than last year, according to the quarterly Global Retail Manufacturers and Importers Survey, conducted by retail lender Capital Business Credit (CBC).

Looking at the holiday season in particular, one-third have seen an upturn in orders on last year, while 44% have seen no change and 22% have reported a decrease. Forty-three percent believe that holiday sales will be better than last year.

For the back-to-school season, meanwhile, one-third believe it will be stronger than last year, and 54% expect it to be the same.

“Like many other recent economic indicators, we are getting a lot of mixed signals from importers and manufacturers of retail goods,” said Andrew Tananbaum, executive chairman of CBC.

“We do believe there is the potential for growth as we head into the back-to-school and fall seasons.”