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Economy in Brief

Weekly Chain Store Sales Slipped Again
by Tom Moeller May 24, 2005

Chain store sales slipped for the second week according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS survey. A 0.2% decline last week followed the 1.0% drop during the prior period. Sales so far in May remained 0.6% above April when sales rose 0.6% versus 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 was unchanged w/w (0.1% y/y) and is up 0.4% in May versus April.

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) 05/21/05 05/14/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 455.9 456.7 3.7% 4.6% 2.9% 3.6%
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