U.S. retail sales rose 1 percent in the week ending Saturday and 3.4 percent above the same week of 2011, a trade group in Washington said.
The International Council of Shopping Centers said overall traffic in retail malls was "stronger during this past week with relatively steady (and healthy) demand at apparel stores, department stores and discounters."
In addition, there was "much stronger demand at grocery stores and wholesale clubs," the group said.
Sales rose in spite of weather that was "not particularly favorable during the past week for fall merchandise demand," the weekly ICSC retail tracking report said.
Some states found weather warm and muggy, "thanks to the remains of Hurricane Isaac," Weather Trends International said.
After a long, steady decline, the national average price of gasoline has posted its 10th consecutive month of gains, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.
The national average price rose 0.4 cents to $3.847 in the latest week, the highest price since April, the report said.
The group keeps track of gasoline prices, as they tend to indicate the amount of discretionary spending U.S. consumers have available.