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Economy in Brief

U.S. Chain Store Sales Held the High Ground
by Tom Moeller August 5, 2008

Chain store sales, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, held onto the strong gain during the prior week. The unchanged level of sales in early-August followed a 1.2% w/w jump at the end of July. It left the level of sales at its record high which was up 1.0% from the July average. That followed July's 0.4% rise.

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.

The leading indicator of chain store sales from ICSC-UBS continued to weaken and fell 1.5% (-5.3% y/y) after a 0.9% decline during the week prior.

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

Can Young Americans Compete in a Global Economy? from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is available here.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 08/08/08 07/26/08 Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 499.2 499.2 2.9% 2.8% 3.3% 3.6%
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