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Economy in Brief

U.S. Chain Store Sales Dipped Last Week
by Tom Moeller May 6, 2008

In its ICSC-UBS Chain Store survey, the International Council of Shopping Centers reported that sales dipped 0.2% last week after the prior period's 0.9% rise.

During all of April sales rose 1.0% from March and they began May up another 0.4%.

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 a sharp 1.2% (-3.7% y/y) and it has been declining steadily for more than a year.

The chain store sales figures are available in Haver's SURVEYW database.

The April 2008 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices from the Federal Reserve Board is available here.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 05/03/08 04/26/08 Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 496.3 491.8 2.3% 2.8% 3.3% 3.6%
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