Weak October retail sales and the uncertainty of the upcoming holiday season prompted shipping giant UPS not to release a projection for the amount of packages it expects to deliver on its busiest day of the year.

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ATLANTA — Weak October retail sales and the uncertainty of the upcoming holiday season prompted shipping giant UPS not to release a projection for the amount of packages it expects to deliver on its busiest day of the year.

It’s the first year since the world’s largest shipping carrier went public in 1999 that it won’t do so, spokesman Norman Black said.

The Atlanta company also will not project how many seasonal employees it will hire for the holidays, Black said.

Last year, UPS delivered more than 22 million packages on its peak shipping day, Dec. 19, and hired about 60,000 seasonal employees.

“The holiday peak normally is the one time of year when consumer and business-to-consumer shipping surges,” Black said. “But this year, early indicators — such as the just-reported 2.8 percent drop in October retail sales — are making any projection difficult.”