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Economy in Brief

U.S. Chain Store Sales Fell Hard Last Week
by Tom Moeller May 13, 2008

The International Council of Shopping Centers reported that chain store sales fell 1.0% last week after the prior period's 0.2% dip.

During all of April, sales rose 1.0% from March and they began May down 0.1%.

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 rose 0.2% (-3.9% 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.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 05/09/08 05/02/08 Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 490.3 495.4 0.5% 2.8% 3.3% 3.6%
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