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Economy in Brief

Chain Store Sales Down a 3rd Week
by Carol Stone August 23, 2005

Chain store sales fell for a third week, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS survey. A 0.3% decline in the week ended last Saturday, August 20, followed the prior week's 0.3% decrease. That puts the ICSC sales index in the first three weeks of August back virtually level with its July average, after a strong, but unsustainable jump the last week of that month. The latest week is 4.0% ahead of a year ago.

A more hopeful sign came in the ICSC's leading indicator of chain store sales, which gained 0.5% in the August 13 week, a second consecutive rise, bringing it almost back up to its mid-July level.

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) 08/20/05 08/13/05 Y/Y 2004 2003
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 456.8 458.0 4.0% 4.6% 2.9%
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