The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

July 11, 2013

Retailers report strong gains for June

— NEW YORK (AP) — June sales heated up for stores, in a sign that Americans likely will continue to spend during the important back-to-school shopping season.

U.S. retailers reported their strongest sales gains since January, as shoppers, enticed by warm weather and an improving economy, took advantage of summer discounts.

Revenue at stores opened at least a year - an industry measure of a retailer's health - rose 3.9 percent in June compared with the same month a year ago, according to a preliminary tally of 12 retailers by the International Council of Shopping Centers. The mall trade group had expected an increase of 3 to 3.5 percent.

The data, released Thursday, offers positive signs for the back-to-school season, which is the second-biggest shopping period behind the winter holidays. June is when stores clear out summer merchandise to make room for goods for fall, so brisk sales mean that stores likely won't be stuck with piles of summer shorts and T-shirts that they need to get rid of as the back-to-school kicks off later this month.

June's performance was its best performance since January's 4.5 percent gain and showed a gradual improvement since early this spring. The tally was up 3.4 percent in May and 3 percent in April.

Going forward, Michael P. Niemira, chief economist at the International Council of Shopping Centers, expects that total sales for the back-to-school season, which runs from mid-July through mid-September, will be up a solid 3.1 percent to $42.2 billion. That would be less than the 3.6 percent gain in 2011, but in line with the 3.3 percent pace on average over the past 10 years.

Stores are benefiting from an improving economy that has gained a robust 195,000 jobs in June. Employers have added an average 202,000 jobs for the past six months, up from 180,000 in the previous six. The housing market is also gaining strength. And consumer confidence in June is at the highest level since January 2008, according to the Conference Board.

Text Only
State and Nation
Poll

What is your favorite Easter candy?

Chocolate bunnies
Marshmallow chicks
Chocolate eggs with filling
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee