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Economy in Brief

U.S. Chain Store Sales in Modest Uptrend
by Tom Moeller February 5, 2008

Chain store sales last week recovered the prior period's loss with a 1.7% rise, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS. The gain followed a 1.2% decline at the end of January. Sales for all of January fell 0.3% from the December average.

The latest week's increase was enough to lift sales 0.8% above the January average level.

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.

During the last week of January the leading indicator of chain store sales from ICSC-UBS collapsed by 1.8% w/w after a 0.3% decline during the prior week. For all of January the leading indicator fell 0.1%, the third consecutive slight m/m decline.

Monday's speech, Protecting Homeowners and Sustaining Home Ownership, by Federal Reserve Board Governor Kroszner is available here .

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 02/02/08 01/26/08 Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 490.6 482.6 1.6 % 2.8% 3.3% 3.6%
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