Sales Decline Slightly Over Last Week
New York City, Weekly retail chain store sales slipped by 0.2% for the week ending Aug. 13, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Despite the week’s slight decline, the overall sales pace improved to 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. “This past week, retailers felt the crosscurrents of easy comparisons in August sales on a year-over-year basis, but tougher comparisons as a result of hotter weather and higher gasoline prices. Over the course of the last week, gasoline prices jumped to another new record high—$2.55 per gallon for regular-grade gasoline, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration—which further accentuated the worry among retailers as well as consumers,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research. “Taken together, these factors will likely cap the year-over-year pace of sales in August to around 4.0%,” Niemira added.