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Economy in Brief

Chain Store Sales Stuttered
by Tom Moeller August 9, 2005

Chain store sales stuttered during the opening week of August according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS survey. The 0.8% w/w decline retraced virtually all of the prior week's strong gain and left sales just 0.2% ahead of the July average.

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 slid 0.8% (0.0% y/y), the third decline in the last 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.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 08/06/05 07/30/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 458.9 462.8 4.0% 4.6% 2.9% 3.6%
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