U.S. stores report uptick in May sales


NEW YORK — In the latest sign that Americans are feeling better about the overall economy, stores across the country had a pickup in sales in May.

An improving job picture, better housing market, and stock market rallies have all led to consumer confidence reaching five-year highs. That has left Americans a bit more likely to reach into their pockets and spend, as monthly revenue reports released by national retailers on Thursday show.

Revenue at stores open at least a year — an industry measure of a store’s health — rose 3.4 percent in May compared with the same month a year ago, according to a preliminary tally of 13 retailers by the International Council of Shopping Centers.