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Economy in Brief

Chain Store Sales Flat
by Tom Moeller September 7, 2005

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS survey indicated that chain store sales were flat last week following four successive weeks of decline during August.

The ICSC indicated that "The results for this past week reflect the fallout of Hurricane Katrina as national sales were held back by about one percentage point as stores were closed in the path of the hurricane.”

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 fell in the latest week by 0.1% (+0.2% y/y) following a 0.2% decline the week prior.

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) 09/03/05 08/27/05 Y/Y 2004 2003
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 455.4 455.5 3.8% 4.6% 2.9%
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