This year, retailers in Arizona saw a 6.7 percent increase in holiday sales year over year – topping the 3-4 percent reported for retailers nationally. That translated to $9.8 billion in sales, said W. P. Carey economist Dennis Hoffman at the Economic Club of Phoenix luncheon this week. In addition, restaurant and bar sales for December through March are also on the rise. Bar sales for March 2012 broke all records, he said, and March this year is expected to be even better. Slides All this paints a picture of Arizona on the mend. The Economic Club of Phoenix, affiliated with ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business, provides a forum for the discussion of economic, business and policy issues.