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Summary Box: March retail sales rise

Associated Press Published: April 5, 2012
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THE NEWS: Retailers from Target to Macy's reported better-than-expected sales in March, buoyed by warm weather, high demand for spring fashions and easing economic worries.

THE CONTEXT: Overall, revenue at stores open at least one year — an indicator of a retailer's operating performance because it excludes results from stores that opened and closed during the year — rose 4.1 percent, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.

WHAT'S NEXT: Analysts say a more accurate picture of Americans' spending will emerge after April because an earlier Easter holiday this year likely pushed some sales into March.