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Economy in Brief

U.S. Chain Store Sales Rose
by Tom Moeller October 14, 2008

According to the International Council of Shopping Centers chain store sales rose last week, but they still have been quite anemic. The 0.7% increase was the first of any magnitude since late July. Since then weekly sales have been either down, unchanged or up just 0.1%. The level of sales in early October was 0.6% below the September average which fell 1.9% from August.

The level of sales during the latest week was near the lowest since December of last year.

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

Credit Card Debt and Payment Use from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is available here.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 10/11/08 10/04/08 Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 484.7 481.5 1.0% 2.8% 3.3% 3.6%
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