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Economy in Brief

Chain Store Sales Post Another Solid Gain
by Tom Moeller July 26, 2005

Chain store sales increased 0.4% last week according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS survey. This fourth consecutive gain lifted sales so far in July 0.5% higher than during June when sales fell 0.4% versus May.

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 recovered a piece of the prior week's sharp decline with a 0.3% w/w (0.3% y/y) rise.

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) 07/23/05 07/16/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 458.5 456.9 4.2% 4.6% 2.9% 3.6%
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