Early Easter expected to boost March retail sales

March sales at stores across the U.S. are expected to report a jump in sales, thanks to an early Easter and warm weather.

Retailers report same-store sales tomorrow, a key industry metric that measures sales at stores open at least a year. Analysts are expecting same-store sales at retailers such as Target, Kohl's, and J.C. Penney to be up an average of 6.2 percent in March, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters. Teen chains like Abercrombie & Fitch and Aeropostale are expected to show some of the biggest improvements.

If March sales indeed rise by more than 6 percent, it would be the seventh straight month of improving sales, and a big change from last year's 5 percent decline.

The International Council of Shopping Centers is also rosy about its outlook, increasing its March sales expectation to a rise of 8 percent to 10 percent, up from a previous outlook of 3 percent to 3.5 percent.

The Easter Bunny helped spur about $13 billion in sales of Easter clothing, candy and food, according to the National Retail Federation.



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