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Economy in Brief

U.S. Chain Store Sales Touch a New High
by Tom Moeller January 8, 2008

In the opening week of the New Year, chain store sales rose a modest 0.4% according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS.

The small w/w gain was enough to recoup all of the prior week's decline, lift sales to a record high and raise the latest level 1.9% above December after that month's 1.0% m/m rise.

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.

Still working the other way, the leading indicator of chain store sales from ICSC-UBS fell for the third consecutive week was down for all of December for the fourth month in the last five.

The Economy in 2008 is yesterday's speech by Dennis P. Lockhart, President and Chief Executive Officer Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and it is available here.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 01/05/08 12/29/07 Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 489.6 487.7 1.9% 2.8% 3.3% 3.6%
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