WASHINGTON, March 21 (UPI) -- U.S. retail sales rose 0.9 percent in the week ending Saturday with clothing and department stores showing strong gains, a trade association said.
The International Council of Shopping Centers said sales rose 0.9 percent from the previous week and 3.3 percent from the same week of 2011.
Factory outlet stores also showed gains as weekly receipts showed the strongest year-to-year gains since early February.
The weather continued to push sales of spring items as the average temperature was 7.4 degrees Fahrenheit over the same week a year earlier.
While the weather was encouraging, gasoline prices gained 3.8 cents in the week, cutting deeper into consumers' discretionary funds.
The national average price of gasoline was $3.867 Saturday, 8.6 percent higher than the same week a year earlier, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.