An important measure of retail sales confirmed Tuesday that the last Saturday before Christmas was a disappointment as a snowstorm that slammed the Northeast stymied shoppers during a week crucial to retailers.
That means retailers are counting even more on a spending surge in the final days before Christmas.
The International Council of Shopping Centers-Goldman Sachs index reported that for the week ended Saturday, sales rose just 0.6 percent compared with the previous week.
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Compared with the same period last year, the index rose 0.4 percent. A week earlier, that figure was up 2.4 percent.
The measurement is based on sales at stores open at least a year, considered a key indicator of retailer's health.
The last Saturday before Christmas is usually either the biggest or second-biggest shopping day of the year.
Figures from research firm ShopperTrak, which tracks sales and traffic at more than 50,000 outlets, are slated to be released Tuesday afternoon.
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