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Economy in Brief

Chain Store Sales Recovered Some Last Week
by Tom Moeller June 7, 2005

Chain store sales rose a modest 0.4% during the opening week of June following three consecutive periods of decline according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS survey. The slim increase left sales 0.7% below the May average which rose 0.3% versus April.

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 slipped 0.3% w/w (+0.8% y/y), the first decline in four weeks.

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.

Last night's remarks by Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan are available here.

Battle at Bond Bluff: Forecasters vs. Financial Markets from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis can be found here.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 06/04/05 05/28/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 452.9 451.2 3.3% 4.6% 2.9% 3.6%
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