U.S. retail receipts at chain stores fell 0.4 percent in the week leading up to Halloween, the International Council of Shopping Centers said Tuesday.
The trade group said cold weather -- which could spur sales of warm clothing and heaters -- and the October-ending Halloween holiday failed to lift sales.
"Over the last month, sales have been very erratic with lots of external impacts from the ripple effects of the government shutdown to worry about the economy affecting the pace of demand," said ICSC vice president of research and Chief Economist Michael Niemira.
Sales receipts compared to the same week a year earlier rose 2.2 percent, a year-over-year pace that was weaker than the previous week, but stronger than four of the past five weeks, the trade group said.
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Original headline: Weekly retail receipts slip prior to Halloween
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