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Economy in Brief

Chain Store Sales Jumped Last Week
by Tom Moeller March 1, 2005

Chain store sales jumped 1.5% last week according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS survey.

The strong end to February pulled the month's average 1.0% ahead of January and last week's sales were 3.8% above four weeks earlier.

During the last ten years there has been a 59% correlation between y/y change in chain store sales and the change in non-auto retail sales less gasoline, as published by the US Census Department.

The leading indicator of chain store sales from ICSC, down 0.6% (-0.2% y/y), fell for the second consecutive week. The indicator's February average nevertheless remained above January.

The ICSC-UBS retail chain-store sales index is constructed using the same-store sales (stores open for one year) reported by 78 stores of seven retailers: Dayton Hudson, Federated, Kmart, May, J.C. Penney, Sears and Wal-Mart.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 02/26/05 02/19/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 452.5 445.6 3.3% 4.6% 2.9% 3.6%
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