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Retail sales down

National retail sales dropped two percent for the week that ended Saturday, and bad weather is being blamed for the decline.

Although temperatures were only 1.3 degrees colder this year than they were during the same week one year ago, severe storms and flooding on much of the east coast put a dent in sales, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index.

Discounters, office suppliers, specialty stores and department stores were hit hard, but their decline was offset somewhat by stronger performances among wholesalers and furniture stores, according to the index.

Despite the bad week, April sales are expected to be up three to four percent year-over-year, according to the index, which was released today.

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