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Economy in Brief

U.S. Chain Store Sales Recovering
by Tom Moeller January 7, 2009

Chain store sales last week recovered all of the previous week's decline with a 1.4% increase, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers-Goldman Sachs Index. The rise lifted sales 1.7% above their December average which rose by a scant 0.3% from November. That followed three months of sharp decline.

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.

Perhaps better news on sales are in store. The weekly leading indicator of chain store sales from ICSC-Goldman Sachs jumped another 1.4% after a 1.1% rise during the prior week. And since the lows of several weeks ago the index has recovered 4.7%.

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

Is There Less Agreement About Inflation? from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis can be found here.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 01/02/09 12/26/08 Y/Y 2008 2007 2006
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 485.6 478.9 -0.8% 1.4% 2.8% 3.3%
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