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Economy in Brief

Weekly Chain Store Sales Finished 2006 Firm
by Tom Moeller January 3, 2007

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS indicated that chain store sales last week rose 0.3% after three consecutive weeks of double digit increase. The gains lifted December sales 0.5% higher than the November average which 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.

The leading indicator of chain store sales from ICSC-UBS, however, repeated its 0.9% decline of the prior week and was down 0.5% from a year ago. The decline may be attributable to the further increase in retail gasoline prices which rose to $2.34 cents per gallon in the latest week, up fourteen cents from the recent low.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 12/30/06 12/23/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 476.8 475.4 2.8% 3.6% 4.7% 2.9%
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