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Economy in Brief

Weekly Chain Store Sales Fell
by Tom Moeller May 17, 2005

Chain store sales fell a sharp 1.0% last week following the 0.7% surge which opened the month of May, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS survey. Sales in May nevertheless remained 0.9% above the April average which rose 0.6% from March.

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 non-auto retail sales less gasoline.

The leading indicator of chain store sales from ICSC rose 0.4% (-0.1% y/y) in early May and reversed all of the prior week's 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) 05/14/05 05/07/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 456.7 461.4 3.3% 4.6% 2.9% 3.6%
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