WASHINGTON, March 29 (UPI) -- Retail sales rose fractionally in the week ending March 26, in part due to the shift in the Easter holiday this year, an industry trade group said Tuesday.
Sales rose 0.2 percent from the previous week and a modest 2.6 percent from the same week of 2010, the International Council of Shopping Centers.
The comparison is skewed, however, by the Easter holiday which fell on April 4 a year ago and falls on April 24 this year.
In addition, the trade group said, "lingering winter weather" dampened sales of spring season items and higher gasoline prices put a crimp on discretionary funds.
ICSC said costumer traffic improved in the week at drug stores and office supply stores. Traffic was weaker at wholesale clubs and clothing stores.
The price of gasoline rose by 3.5 cents in the week to an average of $3.596 per gallon on March 28, the U.S. Energy Information Agency said.
Gasoline prices fell in the previous week, but prior to that gasoline prices had risen for six consecutive weeks.