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Economy in Brief

Weekly Chain Store Sales Up Moderately
by Tom Moeller August 1, 2006

Weekly chain store sales rose another 0.9% last week after a 0.2% increase the prior period, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS survey.

The moderate increases continued to leave sales below earlier levels. As a result sales this month are running 0.6% below the June average.

Both the June & May average sales levels fell 0.4% from the prior month. 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 fell another 0.1% (-1.4% y/y) in the latest week.

Retail gasoline prices during the last week of July ticked up slightly and the average retail price for regular unleaded gas settled at $3.00 per gallon (31.1% y/y) and prices in July averaged $2.98.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 07/29/06 07/22/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 471.2 467.1 1.8% 3.6% 4.7% 2.9%
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