NEW YORK (AP) -- The nation's consumers -- spooked by mounting layoffs and dwindling retirement funds -- continued to keep their wallets closed into November, according to a key measure of retail sales.
According to the International Council of Shopping Centers-Goldman Sachs Index, same-store sales dropped 1 percent for the week ended Saturday compared with the previous week. Same-store sales rose 0.4 percent compared with the year-ago period.
Same-store sales are sales at stores opened at least a year and are considered a key indicator of a retailer's health.
"A confluence of factors will hold back November 2008 year-over-year sales growth including strong demand in November 2007 and fewer post-Thanksgiving days in this year's shopping period," said Michael P. Niemira, ICSC's chief economist in a statement. For November, ICSC projects that same-store sales will be down anywhere from 1 percent to unchanged from a year ago.
Last week, the nation's retailers reported a 0.9 percent drop in same-store sales, the weakest October in at least 39 years when the index began.