Shares in Jones Apparel Group fell 3% in late trading yesterday (14 October) after the company blamed the economy for a cut in its full-year profit forecasts.

The US apparel maker, whose clothing brands include Anne Klein and Nine West, now expects full-year adjusted earnings per share of US$0.93-0.98, well down on its previous guidance of $1.20-1.35. Last year, the figure was $1.26.

Jones is forecasting third quarter earnings per share of $0.32-0.34, down on last year's figure of $0.51, following a "significant" decline in comparable store sales during September. It expects comparable store sales for the third quarter as a whole to fall 2%.

"Our retail operations trended negatively during the third quarter, consistent with the overall economic climate, reflecting a drop in consumer confidence and spending levels," said Wesley R Card, Jones Apparel Group president and CEO.

"Given the difficult business climate, we anticipate a more promotional fourth quarter and are therefore revising our full-year guidance."

The company will announce its full third quarter results on 29 October.