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RETAILERS' AUGUST SALES BEAT ESTIMATES

By NBF News

Retailers posted better-than-expected sales in August as consumers sought out bargains during the key back-to-school selling season, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Early reports gave analysts hope that retailers were able to clear excess inventories ahead of the crucial holiday-selling season without having to resort to deep discounts.

But with stubbornly high unemployment and weak consumer sentiment, shoppers were still focused on low prices when choosing what to buy.

'The cheaper it is, the more I go there,' a Chicago high school student, Ms. Jialing Jiang, said on Wednesday as she shopped on the city's State Street.

Nine of the 11 retailers that reported as of early Thursday morning beat analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data.

'Discounting was particularly heavy this back-to-school season, and early,' President of Research firm Retail Metrics, Mr. Ken Perkins, said.