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Retail sales in June at major chain stores fell 1.2 percent from May and were in-line with previous forecasts, according to the Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index released Tuesday.

Compared with a year earlier, sales for the period rose 3.8 percent.

For the week ended July 5, the index was up 6 percent, following a 3.1 gain the prior week. Johnson attributed performance in the recent week to the Independence Day holiday and sales promotions, as well as demand for seasonal goods. Hurricane Arthur along East Coast also pushed shoppers into malls and outlets.

Looking ahead, Johnson said the four-week month ending August 2 is "typically a relatively low volume period with sales driven by discounting as stores clear summer goods and restock for fall."

Johnson forecasts year-over-year growth of 3.4 percent for the upcoming four weeks, or an 0.8 percent decline from June.

Separately, the weekly sales report from the International Council of Shopping Centers sponsored by Goldman Sachs registered a same-store gain of 1.7 percent in the week ended July 5.

"Business was up sharply at apparel-specialty stores and wholesale clubs, while drug, department, electronics, office, and furniture stores saw solid gains," said Michael Niemira, the council's vice president.

Niemira expects year-over-year sales growth of about 3.5 percent for his survey.

On July 15 the U.S. Commerce Department is slated to release its Advance Monthly Retail Report for June.

Posted-In: International Council of Shopping Centers Michael NiemiraNews Retail Sales


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