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Economy in Brief

Chain Store Sales Recovered Slightly
by Tom Moeller April 5, 2005

Chain store sales inched up 0.3% in the opening week of April and recovered a piece of the prior week's 1.0% drop according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS survey.

Sales began the month 0.2% below the March average which rose 1.1% versus the prior month. That gain followed a strong 1.0% rise in February.

During the last ten years there has been a 56% correlation between the y/y change in chain store sales and the change in non-auto retail sales less gasoline, as published by the US Census Department. Chain store sales correspond directly with roughly 14% of nonauto retail sales less gasoline.

The leading indicator of chain store sales from ICSC fell 0.7% (-1.7% y/y) for the second consecutive weekly decline and pulled the measure 2.5% off its peak last year.

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) 04/02/05 03/26/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 451.5 450.2 4.4% 4.6% 2.9% 3.6%
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