News Summary: Retailers post strong January sales

News Summary: Retailers report strong January sales but analysts worry about spring

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- NO POST-CHRISTMAS SLUMP: Major retailers collectively reported a 5.1 percent increase in revenue at stores open at least a year in January, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers' tally of 20 retailers. The mall trade group had expected a 3 percent gain.

CLEARANCE SALE: The gains were fueled by bargain shoppers taking advantage of clearance sales. Retailers including Limited Brands Inc., Macy's and Target Corp. reported sales figures that topped Wall Street estimates.

WHAT'S NEXT: Spending is expected to slow as the deals dry up heading into the spring, and Americans digest rising gas prices and a 2 percent payroll tax hike that started in January.

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