Retail Sales Figures Indicate Stingy Shoppers

There have been some positive signs this week that the global recession may be easing, but many U.S. consumers seem skeptical. Retail sales for some large chains declined over the last quarter. Nordstrom, Macy's and J.C. Penney's all posted losses. But TJX, which owns mega discount chains T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, bucked the trend and saw its profits rise 27 percent.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

NPR's business news starts with sagging retail sales.

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INSKEEP: There have been some positive signs this week that the global recession may be easing, but many American consumers still seem skeptical, maybe because so many are still out of work. Retail sales for some of the country's largest chains declined over the last quarter. Nordstrom's, Macy's and J.C. Penney's all posted losses. TJX, which owns mega-discount chains T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, bucked that trend and saw its profits rise 27 percent.

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