U.S. weekly chain-store sales rose 2.3 percent year on year, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Goldman Sachs. For the week that ended on March 10, chain-store sales improved 0.7 percent from the previous week. ICSC noted a slight improvement in sales of apparel in particular.
”Sales in March have been mixed, adversely affected by severe weather and then turning more moderate,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s vice president of research and chief economist. ”So far, the improving economy is more than offsetting the drag from more rapidly rising gasoline prices on consumers’ discretionary budgets,” added Niemira.
For March, ICSC expects that comparable-store sales will increase between 3 percent and 5 percent.