February 10, 2009

Retail sales hold steady during week

Retail sales in the United States were unchanged in the week ending Feb. 7, the International Council of Shopping Centers-USB reported Tuesday.

Sales were unchanged on the week but down 1.8 percent from the same week a year ago, the report said.

Around the country, consumers ... were generally buying stables (food and drugs), while traffic was stronger at the dollar stores, as well, the report said.

Weather, averaging 4.7 degrees Fahrenheit colder than the same week a year ago, may have contributed to slow sales, although the week's average temperature was 0.9 degrees higher than historic averages.

The current week prior to Valentine's Day is projected to be wet, cold and snowy in the West and mild in the East, the report said.

Gasoline prices also chip away at or contribute to discretionary spending. At $1.926 per gallon on Feb. 9, gasoline prices are the highest they have been since last November, the report said.