NEW YORK, July 26 (UPI) -- U.S. retail chain store sales rose slightly last week to reach a level that is 4.2 percent higher than the same time last year.
Sales rose 0.4 percent for the week ending July 23, the International Council of Shopping Centers said Tuesday.
"Over the course of the last week, chain store sales continued to be in a 'transition phase' from summer clearance to back-to-school," said Michael Niemira, ICSC's chief economist and director of research.
"Hot-weather goods continued to sell well, while back-to-school demand seemingly is slow going, even as the first round of state sales tax holidays kicked in (in Florida). The bulk of state tax holidays and back-to-school demand will be reflected in August sales. For the month of July, we expect the year-over-year comparable-store sales growth to be up to the stronger side of 4 percent," Niemira added.