Retailers report strong gains for June

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June sales heated up for stores, in a sign that Americans probably will continue to spend during the important back-to-school shopping season.

US retailers reported their strongest sales gains since January, as shoppers, enticed by warm weather and an improving economy, took advantage of summer discounts.

Revenue at stores opened at least a year — an industry measure of a retailer’s health — rose 3.9 percent in June compared with the same month a year ago, according to a preliminary tally of 12 retailers by the International Council of Shopping Centers.

June is when stores clear out summer merchandise, so brisk sales mean that stores probably will not be stuck with piles of summer shorts and T-shirts that they need to get rid of as the back-to-school season kicks off later this month.

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