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Economy in Brief

U.S. Chain Store Sales Slip
by Tom Moeller April 22, 2008

According to the International Council of Shopping Centers ICSC-UBS Chain Store survey, sales slipped 0.7% last week and took back about all of the prior week's gain.

Despite the latest decline sales so far in April have risen 0.8% from March, due to gains early in the month. Chain store sales in March were about unchanged from February.

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 fell 0.5% (-2.0% y/y) and reversed most of the prior week's gain.

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ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 04/19/08 04/12/08 Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 491.8 495.3 1.4% 2.8% 3.3% 3.6%
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