March 10, 2009

Retail sales slightly up in week

Retail sales in the United States rose slightly in the week ending March 7, the International Council of Shopping Centers-USB reported Tuesday.

Sales were up 0.2 percent for the week and down 0.9 percent compared with the same week of 2008, the report said.

Around the country, the pace of customer traffic was stronger ... but it was still relatively modest for the industry as a whole, the report said.

In the midst of a recession, discounters drew more traffic during the latest week, the report said.

The weather helped. Weather Trends International said temperatures were 0.8 degrees Fahrenheit higher than a year ago, although they were 0.6 degrees cooler than the historic average for the week.

Gasoline prices, an indicator of available spending money, ticked up slightly less than a cent from the previous week, but still averaged 39.8 percent higher than the same week in 2008, the ICSC said.