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A hint of spring fails to spur U.S. shoppers

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NEW YORK, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Weekly retail sales dipped slightly in the past week despite rising temperatures across the United States, a major retail trade group said.

The International Council of Shopping Centers said sales slipped 0.6 percent in the week ending Saturday, although sales were 1.4 percent higher than the same week of 2013.

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"Across the nation, the average temperature rose this past week, giving consumers a taste of spring," the trade group said.

But the hint of a harsh winter in retreat did little to send consumers to stores, the council said in its weekly report.

"Sales remained subdued, as consumers enjoyed outside activities rather than shopping," the group's chief economist, Michael Niemira, said.

A few retail segments did well in the week, including wholesale clubs, specialty retail and furniture stores, the council said.

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