The pace of retail sales during the third fiscal week of May dipped, despite favorable influences from weather and gasoline prices.
For the fourth consecutive week, which ended May 19, weekly retail sales declined 1.7 percent, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index.
The weakness was also seen on a year-over-year basis as retail sales slowed to 3.8 percent over last year.
“Consumers seemed to take a ‘time out’ despite the abnormally warm temperatures throughout the nation and receding gasoline prices,” Michael Niemira, International Council of Shopping Centers vice president of research and chief economist, stated in a press release. “With the arrival of Memorial Day and the ‘kick-off’ to summer this coming weekend consumers may start to be motivated for summer-related merchandise and help round out the fiscal month of May on a positive note.”
For May, International Council of Shopping Centers research expects that for the industry comp-store sales will increase about 3 percent.