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Economy in Brief

Chain Store Sales Off A Bit
by Tom Moeller March 8, 2005

Chain store sales fell 0.4% last week. The slip followed a 1.5% surge the week prior according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS survey.

Sales began March 0.7% ahead of the February average which rose 1.0% from January.

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 was unchanged in the latest week (0.0% y/y), ending a six week stretch of erratic and mostly sideways movement. The indicator's February average rose 0.4% following a 0.6% January decline.

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) 03/05/05 02/26/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 450.8 452.5 3.3% 4.6% 2.9% 3.6%
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