Warm Weather Gives Clothing Sales A Lift

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WASHINGTON (UPI) — U.S. retail sales for the week ending Saturday rose by 0.7 percent from the previous week with clothing leading the way, a trade association said.

The International Council of Shopping Centers said sales also rose 2.3 percent over the same week of 2011 with “more color in fashion and the unleashing of some pent-up demand for apparel,” the trade group said.

The weather continued to be unseasonably warm with temperatures 2.8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the same week a year earlier and 3.2 degrees warmer than the long-term historic average for the week, Weather Trends International said.

Warmer weather “should continue to help spring apparel demand,” the trade group said.

In the same week, gasoline prices rose 7.3 percent compared with the same week of 2011, pinching consumers’ discretionary dollars.

The average retail price of a gallon of gasoline is 60 cents higher than it was at Christmas of 2011, the council said.

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