Trade group blames Washington for retail decline

Oct. 16, 2013 at 10:56 AM
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NEW YORK, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- A trade group in New York said the government shutdown is partly to blame for the second consecutive week of declining retail sales.

The International Council of Shopping Centers in a weekly report published with support from Goldman Sachs said sales "weakened by 0.7 percent for the week ending October 12," which was Friday last.

The pace of gains compared to the same week of sales a year earlier slowed to 1 percent, the trade group said.

"Sales weakened across the board by store segment, partially a result of the drag from the government shutdown," said Michael Niemira, ICSC vice president of research and chief economist in a statement released Tuesday.

The trade group said same store sales are expected to see a sales increase between 3 percent and 4 percent in October, but much depends on debates over a long-stalled appropriations bill in Washington and a bipartisan agreement to raise the debt ceiling.

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