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Economy in Brief

Chain Store Sales Unchanged. Gasoline Prices Jumped
by Tom Moeller May 17, 2006

Chain store sales were unchanged last week, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS survey, after a modest 0.4% decline to open the month. So far, sales in May are 0.3% ahead of the April average which rose 1.6% from March.

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 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.

Retail gasoline prices rose four cents last week to $2.95 per gallon, however, yesterday spot market gasoline prices dropped again and the NY price is off nearly a dime from last week.

The latest Short-Term Energy Outlook from the US Energy Information Administration is available here.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 05/13/06 05/06/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 475.7 475.9 3.1% 3.6% 4.7% 2.9%
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