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Economy in Brief

U.S. Chain Store Sales Weak Again
by Tom Moeller May 28, 2008

The International Council of Shopping Centers reported that chain store sales were unchanged last week after declines during four of the prior five weeks.

So far in May sales are down 0.6% from April after that month's 1.0% increase 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 continued the erratic decline since 2004 with a 0.3% drop.

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

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 05/24/08 05/17/08 Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 488.2 488.2 1.5% 2.8% 3.3% 3.6%
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