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Economy in Brief

Weekly Chain Store Sales Fell For Third Week
by Tom Moeller June 1, 2005

After a reasonable start in May, chain store sales subsequently fell during the last three weeks according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS survey. Sales fell 1.0% last week and pulled the May average just 0.3% above April, half the gain during that month.

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 did rise 0.2% w/w (0.5% y/y) pulling the monthly average up 0.4% versus April, the first monthly increase since February.

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) 05/28/05 05/21/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 451.2 455.9 3.1% 4.6% 2.9% 3.6%
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