NORMAN — Higher consumer confidence and summer discounts are putting shoppers in a back-to-school mood. U.S. retailers report that June was the strongest shopping month since January.
Revenue at stores opened at least a year rose 4.1 percent in June, the Associated Press reports. That’s more than expected and offers some positive signs for what has been a sluggish retail season.
Brisk sales mean stores won’t be stuck with spring and summer merchandise that has to be shed before fall clothes and back-to-school merchandise is rolled out.
Employment numbers have improved, putting shoppers in a more optimistic mood. The government reported an average of 202,000 jobs added each month for the past six months, up from 180,000 in the previous six months.
That bodes well for the fall retail season. The International Council of Shopping Centers’ chief economists told the AP total sales for the back-to-school season will be up 3.1 percent to $42.2 billion. That’s less than the 2011 gain but still in line with the 3.3 percent growth pace since 2003.