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Economy in Brief

U.S. Chain Store Sales Fell a Third Straight Week
by Tom Moeller May 20, 2008

The International Council of Shopping Centers reported that chain store sales fell another 0.4% last week after the prior period's 1.0% drop. It was the third consecutive weekly decline.

So far in May sales are down 0.5% from the April average which rose 1.0% from March.

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 was roughly stable with the prior week but down 3.5% y/y.

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

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 05/16/08 05/09/08 Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 488.3 490.3 1.6% 2.8% 3.3% 3.6%
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