New York City -- A survey released Tuesday by the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs found that chain-store sales for the week ended Dec. 25 rose 4.8% from the year-earlier period, the best performance since April 24.
According to the survey, on a week-over-week basis, sales gained 1%.
"Consumers hurried to complete their last minute holiday-gift buying ahead of Christmas Day as many workers had additional shopping time on Christmas Eve, which was a federal holiday for many since Christmas Day fell on a Saturday," said Michael Niemira, ICSC's chief economist. "That last-minute holiday spending lift was aided by consumers who had more money as a result of the improving economy, more time as a result of the Friday holiday and more holiday-season excitement than in many years."
ICSC forecast December same-store sales to rise 3.5% and November-December holiday-season sales to increase 4%, the strongest since at least 2006. Those forecasts were at the top end of its previous ranges.