Retail flat despite tax-free days
Sales tax holidays in 12 states, including Oklahoma, weren't enough to boost back-to-school sales last week. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, retail sales were flat for the week ending Saturday compared to the previous week. Year-over-year, retail sales inched up 2.4 percent.
Sharply rising gasoline prices contributed to consumers' cautious attitudes toward spending, the council said. The organization predicts sales will increase in August as back-to-school shopping picks up.
“Consumers were not in much of a shopping mood during the first week of the August fiscal month,” said Michael Niemira, vice president of research and chief economist. “However, as the reality of the new school year soon beginning for many students sinks in, ICSC expects back-to-school spending to accelerate.”
FROM STAFF REPORTS