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Economy in Brief

Chain Store Sales Lower, Gasoline Prices Up
by Tom Moeller January 31, 2006

Chain store sales fell a hard 1.1% last week after the modest 0.3% rise during the prior period, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS survey.

The drop lowered the gain in sales during January to 1.0% versus December.

Last week, gasoline prices at the pump rose two cents to $2.36 per gallon of regular unleaded. The January average rose to $2.32 but yesterday, in spot market trading, gasoline rose to $1.74 and that has been the spot market average during January, up 27 cents from November.

The leading indicator of chain store sales rose 0.5% and pulled the January average 1.3% ahead of December which rose 0.8%.

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) 01/28/06 01/21/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 454.0 459.0 4.1% 3.6% 4.7% 2.9%
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