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Economy in Brief

Weekly Chain Store Sales Collapsed
by Tom Moeller December 5, 2006

Chain store sales collapsed as shoppers dropped after Thanksgiving week, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS. A 2.6% decline in sales last week lowered sales in the opening week of December 2.5% below the November average which had advanced 0.3% from October.

During the last ten years there has been a 45% 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.

Despite last week's sales drop, the leading indicator of chain store sales from ICSC-UBS recovered the prior period's 0.3% decline (-0.1% y/y) and was up roughly 3% from the early year low.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 12/02/06 11/25/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 454.4 466.5 3.1% 3.6% 4.7% 2.9%
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