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Economy in Brief

U.S. Chain Store Sales Lost Steam
by Tom Moeller August 12, 2008

According to the International Council of Shopping Centers chain store sales fell 0.2% last week and that was enough to return the level of sales to where it was in the third week of June. Sales were still up 0.4% from the June average after that month's 0.5% 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 slipped again by 0.3% (-6.1% y/y) after the 1.5% decline during the week prior.

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

Signal or Noise? Implications of the Term Premium for Recession Forecasting from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is available here.

The Industrial evolution and the Demographic Transition from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia can be found here.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 08/09/08 08/02/08 Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 493.5 499.2 2.6% 2.8% 3.3% 3.6%
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