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Economy in Brief

U.S. Chain Store Sales At 12-Month Low
by Tom Moeller December 9, 2008

Chain store sales last week fell 0.8% after the 0.1% uptick during Thanksgiving week, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers-Goldman Sachs Index. The level of sales during the latest week was the lowest since December of last year and it was down 1.1% from the November average.

During the last ten years there has been a 59% correlation between the y/y change in chain store sales and the change in nonauto retail sales less gasoline.

The ICSC-Goldman Sachs 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 weekly leading indicator of chain store sales from ICSC-Goldman Sachs jumped another 1.5% after a 0.9% rise during the prior week. The indicator remained down 4.0% from the year-ago level and it was near it's lowest level since 1996.

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

Some Principles to Consider in Future Regulatory Reform from Eric S. Rosengren, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and it can be found here.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 12/06/08 11/29/08 Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 471.0 474.7 0.4% 2.8% 3.3% 3.6%
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