U.S. chain stores sales were firmer so far this month, with results in the latest week boosted by Father's Day and school graduation purchases.

Sales were up 1.9 percent so far in the three weeks to June 17, and looked a bit better over the last week.

"Father's day and school graduation brought shoppers into stores and drove traffic in sales of stationary, men's apparel, gift cards and other typical gift categories, and also produced positive spill-over business," the report said.

Sales at major retailers were up 3.3 percent compared to the same week one year ago.

The Johnson Redbook Index is a sales-weighted index of year-over-year same-store sales growth in a sample of large US general merchandise retailers representing about 9,000 stores.

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