Retail rises in week with help from heat

June 26, 2012 at 5:45 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 26 (UPI) -- U.S. retail receipts jumped 2 percent week to week, and 2.7 percent from the same week a year earlier, a trade group said Tuesday.

The International Council of Shopping Centers said sales were "considerably stronger" at apparel stores in the week ending Saturday. Sales also gained and wholesale clubs and specialty stores, ICSC said.

"However, business moderated at dollar stores and discounters," the weekly report said.

The trade group said weather prompted strong sales in the Northeast of anything that kept consumers cool. Weather Trends International said over 50 new record highs were set in the region as the first heat wave of the summer hit New York, Boston and Philadelphia.

In addition, fears of heavy storms in Florida prompted sales of batteries, plywood and other "storm-related merchandise."

Consumers also had slightly more change in their pockets. The national average price of gasoline dropped 9.6 cents in the week to $3.437 per gallon on June 25, the largest weekly drop since May 2011.

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