Weather and economic factors took toll on September sales

According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), September sales at 60 retailers in the United States rose but at the slowest pace in five months.

In a preliminary statement released jointly with UBS Securities, the ICSC said comparable-store sales rose 2 percent, compared with a 4 percent gain in September 2006. The ICSC had expected a gain of 2.5 percent initially, later revising that prediction to 2 percent to 2.5 percent.

The weaker September same-store sales figures were due to economic concerns by consumers and unusually warm weather that hampered sales of fall goods across the country, said the ICSC.

Earlier this month, the research group Conference Board released figures showing consumer confidence dropped to its lowest level in nearly two years in September. That drop was due primarily to lower home values, labor market worries and stricter lending standards, the Conference Board said.

Wal-Mart, Target and other retailers that report monthly earnings will release September financial statements on Oct. 11. The federal government will release its September sales report on Oct. 12.

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