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Economy in Brief

Chain Store Sales Inched Higher
by Tom Moeller March 14, 2006

Chain store sales inched 0.1% higher last week following a 0.2% gain the prior period, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS survey.

Because of a 1.5% jump late last month, the latest increase lifted the average level of sales so far in March 1.4% above the February average which rose 1.1% from January.

During the last ten years there has been a 47% correlation between the y/y change in chain store sales and the change in nonauto retail sales less gasoline.

The leading indicator of chain store sales rose 0.2% in early March for the third straight w/w increase.

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) 03/11/06 03/04/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 470.5 470.1 3.7% 3.6% 4.7% 2.9%
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