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Economy in Brief

U.S. Chain Store Sales Ticked Up
by Tom Moeller September 9, 2008

According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, chain store sales ticked down 0.1% last week and reversed the 0.1% uptick during the week prior. As a result, sales began this month 0.1% below the August average after that month's 0.2% uptick. Year-to-year growth in sales eased to 1.9% from the recent peak rate of growth of 2.9%.

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 rose 0.8% (-4.2% y/y) to the highest level since mid-July.

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

Summer Reading: New Research in Applied Microeconomics Conference Summary from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is available here.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 09/06/08 08/29/08 Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 494.7 495.1 1.9% 2.8% 3.3% 3.6%
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