Consumer confidence gave retailers their third straight month of solid sales in February, according to The New York Times.
Warmer weather, tax refunds, and more appealing spring fashions contributed to the upbeat results. February’s performance followed a robust January performance and a better-than-expected holiday season, the Times reports.
Retail chain stores posted their best numbers in more than three years as sales rose 6.7% in a year-over-year sales comparison, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Chain Store Sales Index. It was the strongest performance since April 2000 when sales improved by 7.9%.
The release of retailers’ results coincided with a Labor Department report that the number of people filing new applications for unemployment benefits have dropped last week, indicating that companies may be feeling more confident about the strength of the economic recovery and less inclined to reduce their payrolls.