Gap's sales rose by an unexpectedly strong 10 per cent in July as a majority of the first retailers to report their latest monthly sales beat forecasts.
Among the first 13 retailers to report sales figures for July, nine beat expectations and three missed them, with one not comparable, according to Thomson Reuters.
The increase in Gap's like-for-like sales compared with a forecast of 3.8 per cent growth, adding to evidence that the clothes retailer has finally brought to an end a prolonged period of falling sales.
Limited Brands, the owner of Victoria's Secret, also put in a strong performance, with like-for-like sales up 12 per cent versus forecasts of a 6-per-cent rise. Target and Macy's also surpassed forecasts.
Overall, retail sales had been forecast to increase 1.4 per cent in July by Retail Metrics, following a 0.3 per cent rise in June.