The International Council of Shopping Centers said sales rose modestly week-to-week, but were up 2.9 percent compared with the same week of 2011, a climb from the 2.1 percent year-over-year gain of the previous week.
The council's report, issued Tuesday, said the national average temperature dropped 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit compared with the same week of 2011. The upper Midwest experienced its first hard frost, Weather Trends International said.
That same cool weather pattern "likely boosted" sales of fall apparel, the trade group said.
After 11 consecutive weeks of gains, the national average price of gasoline -- having gained 50 cents in the 11-week climb -- eased back, dropping 5.2 cents to $3.826 per gallon in the week ending Monday.