Before Hurricane Sandy left its mark on New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley, the majority of New York retailers were confident and prepared for a strong 2012 holiday shopping season.

That’s according to a survey of Retail Council of New York State members conducted just prior to the storm where 78 percent of participating retailers said they expected 2012 holiday season numbers to be the same as or better than 2011.

The Retail Council conducts a holiday sales watch survey each year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The survey was mailed to retail council members in mid-September and results were collected through Oct. 26, before the hurricane struck on Oct. 29 and 30.

While optimistic, the majority of respondents still had their eyes on the economy as the greatest factor to affect their 2012 holiday sales. This was followed closely by the presidential election and weather as factors that could encroach upon sales.