National retail sales are definitely on the upswing.
Sales were up one percent for the week that ended Saturday compared with the previous week, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index.
The really good news, however, was the year-over-year number: up 4.6 percent compared with the last week of June in 2013, largest increase in that category since the final week of 2011, according to the index, which was released Tuesday.
Business was up in most retail segments last week, especially department stores, clothing stores, discounters and wholesale clubs, said Michael Niemira, the council’s chief economist and vice president of research.
One reason for the solid performance was that gasoline prices remained flat, which allowed consumers to spend their money elsewhere, Niemira said.
The council is predicting that retail sales this month will be up 3.5 percent compared with June 2013.