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Economy in Brief

U.S. Weekly Chain Store Sales Up, Gasoline Prices Down
by Tom Moeller August 28, 2007

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS survey reported that chain store sales increased 0.3% last week and made up the 0.3% decline during the week prior.

Chain store sales this month are 0.2% ahead of the July average of sales which rose 0.4% from June.

During the last ten years there has been a 45% correlation between the y/y change in chain store sales and the change in non-auto 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 0.8% from prior week (1.0% y/y).

Gasoline prices for regular, on average fell four cents last week to $2.75 per gallon (-3.4% y/y).

The average gas price so far in August is 6.0% lower than in July and prices have fallen 14.6% from their peak during May of $3.22 per gallon.

The market price for regular gasoline in N.Y. harbor rose yesterday to $2.07 (17.3% y/y) 3 above the July average.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100)  09/04/07  08/18/06  Y/Y  2006  2005 2004
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales  483.4 482.0  2.5%  3.3%  3.6% 4.7%
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