August retail sales up 3.6 percent

Sept. 1, 2005 at 1:18 PM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. consumers increased their retail shopping in August by 3.6 percent on a year-over-year basis, an industry group said Thursday.

The International Council of Shopping Centers said wholesale clubs and luxury stores led the way as sales increased 7.8 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively.

Footwear store sales rose 4.1 percent, discount store sales climbed 3 percent, but furniture store sales fell 12.4 percent.

"August's sales performance was softer than the forecasted 4.0 percent, due to soaring gasoline prices and the eleventh warmest August on record, according to SDI/WeatherTrends," said Michael Niemira, ICSC's chief economist and director of research.

"The monthly sales gain, on the surface, seemed to be more consistent with July results, but in reality, the performance reflected some softness. For September, ICSC expects same-store sales to increase by 3.0 to 3.5 percent, on a year-over-year basis," Niemira added.

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