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Economy in Brief

U.S. Chain Store Sales Move Sideways
by Tom Moeller January 23, 2008

Chain store sales last week recovered 0.7% after a 0.9% decline during the prior period, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS.

For the opening three weeks of the the year chain store sales were up 1.6% from the December average which rose 1.0% from November.

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 similarly opened 2008 with firm gains of 0.9% and 0.7% to lift the January average level so far up 0.9% from December which fell 0.3% from November.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 01/19/08 01/12/08 Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 488.6 485.4 1.6 % 2.8% 3.3% 3.6%
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