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Economy in Brief

Chain Store Sales Fell Sharply
by Tom Moeller May 31, 2006

Chain store sales fell sharply last week. The 1.0% w/w decline followed a similar 0.8% drop the prior week, reported the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS.

Declines during three of the four weeks this month pulled the average level of May sales down 0.6% from 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.

The leading indicator of chain store sales from ICSC-UBS continued its recent decline with another 0.6% drop. The indicator was down 2.7% versus one year ago and 4.5% from the recent peak in early January.

Inflation, Banking and Economic Growth from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland can be found here.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 05/27/06 05/20/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 467.5 472.0 3.6% 3.6% 4.7% 2.9%
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