By  on July 15, 2014

Retail sales nudged upward last week, with a strong year-on-year gain balanced against a small sequential increase.

According to the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs, chain-store retail sales for the week ended Saturday, July 12, were up 4.5 percent from the comparable week of 2013 but just 0.1 percent stronger than in the week ended July 5.

The year-on-year gain was the strongest since a 4.6 percent advance for the week ended June 28, while the sequential increase was the smallest since the week-on-week numbers turned positive after a 2.8 percent decline the week ended June 7.

Last week’s numbers marked five consecutive weeks of gains for both the sequential and annualized comparisons.

Michael Niemira, research consultant for ICSC, noted that results were up “sharply” in most segments of retailing, with dollar stores and electronics retailers posting outstanding results and warehouse clubs continuing to do so.

Gains versus the 2013 week at department, apparel, drug, discount and furniture stores were described as “very impressive.”

Among factors contributing to the increase were “relatively neutral” weather conditions and a small pullback in gasoline prices nationally.

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