RAPAPORT... U.S. chain-store sales rose 3.9 percent year on year this past week, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Goldman Sachs. However, ICSC noted that sales in January reflected mixed results for retailers. This past week's sales were basically flat compared with the week before. Two of past four weeks reflected contractions in week-to-week retail sales performance.
"With the fiscal month and year coming to a close this past week, retail sales once again showed how much sales patterns can shift, especially in January,'' said Michael Niemira, ICSC's vice president of research and chief economist. ''The good news is that sales on a year over year basis continue to show strength, which is a positive sign as the industry moves into the new fiscal year beginning this week,'' added Niemira.
ICSC Research anticipates January comparable-store sales to increase by 2 percent to 3 percent year on year.