NEW YORK, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. retail sales receipts rose by 1.2 percent in the week ending Saturday, a national trade group said Tuesday.
The International Council of Shopping Centers said a variety of factors contributed to increased sales, including lower gasoline prices and cold weather.
Sales also rose 2.3 percent from the same week of 2012, the trade group said.
"Sales picked up in the first week of the November sales period as cold weather, lower gasoline prices, an easy comparisons with the Hurricane Sandy and likely some improving employment news all came together to spur demand," said Michael Niemira, ICSC vice president of research and chief economist.
With holiday shopping fast approaching, the ICSC-Goldman Sachs consumer holiday tracking survey found that consumers have been slower this year to break into a holiday shopping pace, Niemira said.
"Relative to the last two years at the comparable time [consumers are] possibly waiting for this year's Thanksgiving week promotions," Niemira said.