Retail sales will drop even further through June but will improve by year’s end as consumers release pent-up shopping demand, the chief economist for the International Council of Shopping Centers said Thursday.

Sales will be down 1.8% in 2009 overall, including a 5% drop in the January-June period from a year earlier and a 2.7% increase for the second half of the year, according to ICSC. The trade group says it expects sales to increase 3.3% in 2010. Last year, sales fell 0.9%.

USA Today