Retail Sales Tough Out Another Cold Week

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NEW YORK (UPI) — U.S. retail sales slipped 0.3 percent in the week ending Saturday, as store traffic continues to be impacted by harsh winter weather, a retail trade group said.

Sales dropped from the previous week, but rose 2.3 percent from the same week of 2013, the International Council of Shopping Centers said in its weekly report that is complied with help from Goldman Sachs.

“February came in like a lion with multiple winter storms affecting various parts of the country last week,” ICSC Chief Economist Michael Niemira said in a statement.

“But despite that constraint, the ICSC-GS consumer tracking survey found considerable improvement in apparel-specialty stores, wholesale clubs and furniture stores, while department, drug, office supply, electronics and other specialty stores had moderate gains,” Niemira said.

The trade group said it forecast a February gain in sales between 3 percent and 3.5 percent. But the gains “will depend on weather conditions,” the ICSC said.

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