WASHINGTON, Aug. 23 (UPI) — Retail sales slid 1 percent in the week ending last Saturday with traffic down at U.S. discount stores, a trade group said Tuesday.
The International Council of Shopping Centers said sales fell week-to-week, but rose 3 percent compared to the same week a year earlier.
Apparel stores showed some “improvement … relative to earlier in the month,” the trade group said.
Across the country, weather was “mixed” in the week, with average temperatures slightly cooler than the same week in 2010, but warmer than its long-term average.
In the Midwest and East shop keepers found “favorable back-to-school weather.” In the critical Northeast, heavy rains early in the week hampered sales.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported gasoline prices on average declined by 2.3 cents to $3.581 per gallon in the week, which adds up to slightly more discretionary funds available across the country.