NEW YORK (AP) -- In the latest sign that Americans are feeling better about the job market and overall economy, stores across the country had a pickup in revenue in May.
According to a preliminary tally of 12 retailers by the International Council of Shopping Centers, released Thursday, revenue at stores open at least a year rose 3.2 percent in May from last year. That's up slightly from a 3 percent gain in April.
The reports came as the Labor Department reported the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 11,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 346,000, a level consistent with steady job growth.
Only a sliver of the nation's retailers now report monthly figures, but the data offers a snapshot of consumer spending. Among the best performers were Costco Wholesale Corp. and Stein Mart.