Fedex, UPS upbeat on holiday shipping despite recession's hangover

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FedEx (FDX) and United Parcel Service (UPS) are gearing up for a busy holiday season with expectations of record-setting numbers of shipments. Their upbeat estimates fly in the face of tepid retail sales and expectations that recession-weary consumers will keep a tight rein on purchases this year.

"The consensus is flat, but I believe it will be slightly better than that," UPS CEO Scott Davis said of holiday demand. Speaking Wednesday at a meeting of Asia-Pacific corporate and political leaders in Singapore, Davis said that many of the company's retail and technology customers "are quite bullish on this Christmas season," even as others remain cautious, Reuters reported.