Retail sales rose 3.6 percent last week from their year-ago mark and contracted slightly from the prior seven-day period.
The International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs’ monitor of sales landed at 560.4 for the week ended Sept. 27, versus its baseline value of 100 from 1977. Last week’s mark was 0.2 percent below the 561.8 registered for the week ended Sept. 20. The 3.6 percent increase last week fell short of the 4.1 percent increase registered during the week ended Sept. 20.
“Weather generally was not favorable for seasonal demand, but business was brisk for a number of retail segments,” said ICSC research consultant Michael Niemira, citing apparel stores, discounters, wholesale clubs, dollar stores and electronic stores among the solid performers.
Business was described as weak at online-only, grocery and office supply stores.
Niemira continues to expect September sales to increase between 4 and 5 percent when results are reported Oct. 9.
Year-over-year comparisons have risen every week during 2014, with the largest gain registered during the week ended Aug. 30, a 4.8 percent gain, and the smallest the 0.1 percent increase in the week ended Feb. 1. On a sequential basis, the best increase was a 3.6 percent improvement the week ended March 29 and the largest decline a 5.4 percent pullback during the first week of the year.
Gas prices stabilized last week after several consecutive weeks of declines, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. On average, temperatures were 3.4 degrees warmer than a year ago and 2.6 degrees warmer than the long-term national mean for the period, reported Weather Trends International.