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Retailers Expected to Post Robust Sales in February
CNBC.com | February 29, 2012 | 03:46 PM EST

Did consumers show retailers the love in February? It looks like analysts think so.

The Thomson Reuters Same Store Sales Index, which tracks the companies that will report monthly sales late Wednesday and early Thursday, is expected to rise 4.8 percent in February. That's on top of last February's 4.0 percent gain.

According to Thomson Reuters, a gain of 3.0 percent is generally a sign of health among U.S. consumers, so 4.8 percent is a strong showing, especially on top of last year's sold gain.

Retail sales are expected to receive a boost from warmer weather, which drove sales of spring merchandise at full price, as well as by Valentine's Day and President's Day sales events.

Consumers have been in a more upbeat mood lately amid signs the economic recovery is on more solid ground. On Tuesday, consumer confidence rose to a one-year high, boosted by an improved outlook for the labor market.

Valentine's Day likely gave the Limited a boost. The company, which operates Victoria's Secret , is expected to post one of the strongest gains. The average analyst estimate calls for a 6.2 percent gain.

As a group, discounters such asCostco are expected to have the strongest results.

If retailers reach these targets, they will have their best sales gains since September.

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