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Economy in Brief

Chain Store Sales Up
by Tom Moeller November 22, 2005

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS survey indicated that last week, chain store sales recovered more than all of the prior period's decline with a 1.0% jump. It was the second w/w jump that strong this month and it lifted the average level of sales in November 1.2% above October which rose 0.1% from September.

During the last ten years there has been a 51% 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 rose 0.6% (-1.7% y/y) during the latest week following a 0.2% increase the prior week.

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.

Through the second week of November, the Johnson Redbook survey indicated a lesser 0.2% (3.5% y/y) gain in store sales versus October. The survey tracks 15 stores and reflects same-store sales of retailers that account for roughly 85% of the department store category in the Census Bureau's monthly retail sales report.

During the last nine years there has been a 67% correlation between the y/y change in the Redbook store sales index and the change in non-auto retail sales less gasoline, as published by the US Census Department.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 11/19/05 11/12/05 Y/Y 2004 2003
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 458.0 453.3 4.2% 4.6% 2.9%
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