U.S. chain-store sales rose 2.7 percent year on year this past week, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Goldman Sachs. However, rising gasoline prices gave consumers a reason to pause their spending compared with the previous week, and thus softening sales resulted in a 1 percent decline.
“A blast of warm temperatures rolled in again and gasoline prices continued to climb, which collectively helped to soften sales this past week,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s vice president of research and chief economist. ”The results this past week continue a relatively choppy sales pattern that the industry has been experiencing since January and, as a result, monthly comparable store sales are likely to mirror this when retailers report their February sales results on Thursday, March 1,” added Niemira.
ICSC Research anticipates that comparable-store sales for the month of February will increase by 3 percent to 3.5 percent.