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Weekly sales rise 3.2%


New York City A survey released Tuesday by the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs found that chain-store sales for the week ended July 10 rose 3.2% from the year-prior period.

On a week-over-week basis, sales fell 1.5% after two weekly gains. Customer traffic patterns were mixed by segment with discounters and specialty apparel retailers benefiting over the last week.

Warmer-than-average weather may cut demand for back-to-school apparel and add to "choppiness" for the industry in the near term, said Michael Niemira, ICSC's chief economist. Still, gasoline prices edging back over the last week seemed to help consumers' discretionary purchasing power for the second straight week, he said.

ICSC expects July sales to rise 3% to 4%. That compared against a 5% decline in the year-earlier July.

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