Recent Updates

  • *** Australia Building Activity and Value of Private Construction have been re-referenced to Q3 2015-Q2 2016 ***
  • UK: Government Deficit and Debt Under the Maastrict Treaty (Q3)
  • Spain: Harmonized Business Confidence (Q1), Outstanding Debt (Nov)
  • Slovakia: HICP (Dec); Albania: Foreign Trade (Dec); Kazakhstan: State/Republican Budget, Fixed Capital Investment (Dec)
  • South Africa: Trade Conditions Survey (Dec); Retail Trade Sales (Nov); Jordan: PPI (Nov), GDP (Q3); Israel: PMI (Dec);
  • Italy: Financial Accounts (Q3)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

Weekly Chain Store Sales Slip With Gasoline Prices
by Tom Moeller August 22, 2006

Last week, chain store sales slipped 0.2% again. The decline was the third consecutive week of lackluster sales, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS survey, and lowered the latest week's total 0.4% below the end of July.

Sales in August on average are 0.3% above July due to a strong gain at the end of last 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 was unchanged (-2.3% y/y) in the latest week after several weeks of decline.

Retail gasoline prices fell for the second consecutive week. The eight cent decline to an average $2.92 (+11.9% y/y) for regular unleaded gas compared to a July average of $2.98. In spot market trading yesterday, regular unleaded gasoline prices dropped sharply $1.78, down 60 cents from the daily high reached late last month.

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

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 08/19/06 08/12/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 469.1 470.1 2.7% 3.6% 4.7% 2.9%
large image