updated 12/28/2004 11:12:28 AM ET 2004-12-28T16:12:28

Retailers benefited from a last-minute holiday shopping spree, putting them on track to meet modest seasonal sales goals, two groups that track consumer spending reported Tuesday.

The International Council of Shopping Centers, the leading shopping center organization, said that same-store sales, or sales at stores opened at least a year, were up 2.7 percent for the week ended Dec. 25, from the previous week. On a year-over-year basis, the sales pace rose by 4.3 percent, which was the strongest gain since July 3, 2004, when the index recorded a 4.4 percent increase.

Michael P. Niemira, chief economist at the International Council of Shopping Centers, said given the pre-Christmas spending surge he feels confident that the industry will be on track for a 2.5 percent to 3.0 percent gain in same-store sales for the combined November and December period.

ShopperTrak, which tracks total sales at more than 40,000 retail outlets, said that total sales for the week, ended Dec. 25 rose a robust 11.6 percent, compared to the year-ago period.

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