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U.S. weekly chain store sales up 1 percent

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Holiday shopping lifted U.S. weekly chain store sales 1 percent in the seven days ending Dec. 9, a trade group said Tuesday.

The International Council of Shopping Centers Inc. and UBS Securities LLC also said that, on a year-over-year basis, sales continued to advance by 3.2 percent.

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"Over this past week, consumers picked up their holiday shopping pace based on very busy consumer traffic," said Michael Niemira, ICSC's chief economist and director of research.

"However, since consumers are still behind on their completion of holiday shopping compared with the same time of last year, we anticipate a very hectic finish to the holiday shopping season and once again, the holiday season will come down to the strength of the last-minute buying."

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