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Retail week is flat, but up from 2011

June 20, 2012 at 12:04 PM

WASHINGTON, June 20 (UPI) -- U.S. retail receipts were unchanged week to week, but gains were robust compared to the same week of 2011, a trade group said Wednesday.

The International Council of Shopping Centers said sales were flat in the week ending Saturday but were up 3.6 percent from last year.

The trade group said weather's influence on shopping was "neutral." Weather Trends International said "warmer trends in the northern half of the United States slightly outweighed cooler trends in the South."

Potentially helping retailers, the price of gasoline dropped 3.9 cents in the week to $3.533 per gallon June 18. That adds up to a 40.8 cent drop in the average national price of gasoline in the past 11 weeks.

Less money spent on gasoline is that much more in discretionary funds that shoppers can spend.

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