News Summary: Retailers report modest gains in May

News Summary: US retailers report modest gains in May as the economic picture improves

Associated Press

MODEST MAY: Retailers' revenue at stores open at least a year — a closely-watched industry measure of a retail health — rose 3.4 percent in May compared with the same month a year ago, according to a preliminary tally of 13 retailers by the International Council of Shopping Centers.

CONTRIBUTORS: An improving job picture, better housing market and stock market rallies have helped push consumer confidence to five-year highs, making Americans feel better about spending.

WINNERS: Among the best performers were warehouse club operator Costco Wholesale Corp. and department store operator Stein Mart.

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