2004 sales continue to improve over the previous year

U.S. retail sales for the week ending July 10 improved a healthy 11.3% over the same week in 2003, reports ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate (NRSE). Looking at the data from the first half of 2004, retail sales remain very solid, reflecting a renewed consumer confidence through early July.

“Despite some worry about the sustainability of consumer spending, the robust sales figures through June suggest there is no reason for concern, ” said Michael Niemira, chief economist and director of research for the International Council of Shopping Centers. “Additionally, with clearance sales and back-to-school demand in July, retail sales should continue to flourish.”

ShopperTrak also reported a slight 0.7% increase in weekly sales for the period ending July 10, as compared to the previous week ending July 3. To date, average weekly sales for July, versus the same period in 2003, have improved 10.2%.

Developed by ShopperTrak, the NRSE provides a nationwide benchmark of retail sales. It is derived from the U.S. Commerce Department’s GAFO (general merchandise, apparel, furniture, sporting goods, electronics, hobby, books, and other related store sales) statistic, as well as ShopperTrak’s proprietary industry intelligence on shopper movement and sales statistics.