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Reindeer on the roof: A good week for retail

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A woman crosses the street carrying multiple bags outside of Macy's in Herald Square on Black Friday in New York City on November 29, 2013. UPI/John Angelillo | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/c324f95aa7bc8bcf133a0976f7c42a31/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
A woman crosses the street carrying multiple bags outside of Macy's in Herald Square on Black Friday in New York City on November 29, 2013. UPI/John Angelillo | License Photo

NEW YORK, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- U.S. retail receipts soared in the past week compliments of the approaching holiday, the International Council of Shopping Centers said Tuesday.

Sales climbed 4.8 percent from the previous week and 2 percent compared to the same week of 2012, the trade group said.

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"The sequential weekly sales pace soared," said ICSC Chief Economist Michael Niemira, "as consumers accelerated their rate of holiday-gift completion, which as of Sunday stood at about two-thirds."

The percentage of consumers in a survey who indicated their holiday shopping was done for the year rose by 17 percentage points in the week, Niemira said.

The trade group said it was expected that retail sales in December would rise between 3 percent and 4 percent from December 2012. Over the past four weeks, the year over year increase has averaged 2.275 percent.

"Since consumers are down to the wire ... they will need to step up their gift buying even more this coming week," Niemira said.

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