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Economy in Brief

U.S. Chain Store Sales Backpedal
by Tom Moeller March 25, 2008

The International Council of Shopping Centers ICSC-UBS Chain Store survey indicated that chain store sales last week fell 0.4% and gave back all of the prior week's modest increase. The decline left sales so far in March up a negligible 0.1% after February's 0.4% 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.

During the latest week the leading indicator of chain store sales from ICSC-UBS also retreated 0.5% after the prior week's 0.9% increase.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 03/21/08 03/14/08 Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 488.3 490.1 1.0% 2.8% 3.3% 3.6%
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