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Redbook: Retail sales stay on growth path in August's third week

New York -- The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was up 3.6% in the third week of August following a 4.7% gain the previous week.

Month-to-date, August was up 4.4% compared to the year-ago period, relative to a target of a 4.6% gain. Month-over-month showed a 0.2% gain compared to July, relative to a target of a 0.4% gain.August is a four-week month on the retail calendar, ending on Aug. 27.

"People continue to postpone their purchases closer to the time of actual need as students want to see what other students are wearing before buying clothes," said Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst. "Retailers are driving sales through price reductions, putting pressure on profit margins. As noted earlier, back-to-school judgment will be much easier to assess in September when the summer to fall seasonal transition is largely complete before retailers begin positioning themselves for the holiday period."

Apparel sales are holding up well in the south and other regions where school started earlier, and cooler weather in parts of the country helped with sales of back-to-school and fall seasonal apparel.


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