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Economy in Brief

U.S. Chain Store Sales Surged To New High
by Tom Moeller July 29, 2008

Chain store sales were reported by the International Council of Shopping Centers to have surged last week. The 1.2% w/w jump was the strongest since early June. It lifted the level of sales to a record high and sales for most of this month by 0.5% versus June.

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.

Showing weakness, however, was the leading indicator of chain store sales from ICSC-UBS which fell 0.9% (-4.0% y/y) after a 0.3% decline during the week prior.

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

Monetary Policy and Asset Markets: Conference Summary from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco can be found here.

Research on the Effects of Fiscal Stimulus: Symposium Summary, also from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, is available here.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 07/26/08 07/19/08 Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 499.2 493.4 2.6% 2.8% 3.3% 3.6%
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