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Economy in Brief

Weekly Chain Store Sales Tick Higher After Sharp September Decline
by Tom Moeller October 6, 2009

Indications that consumer spending might be improving faded during the last several weeks. During the latest week, chain store sales slipped 0.3% leaving them 0.6% below September after that month's 0.7% decline.

During the last ten years there has been a 69% correlation between the year-to-year growth in chain store sales and the growth in general merchandise sales. The weekly figures are available in Haver's SURVEYW database.

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.

Prospects for improvement in sales seem limited. The leading indicator of sales slipped 0.3% (-0.1% y/y) during the latest week though it had risen somewhat earlier this summer.

A Bit Better, But Very Far From Best are yesterday's comments by New York Fed President William C. Dudley and they are available here.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 10/03/09 09/26/09 Y/Y 2008 2007 2006
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 486.5 485.0 1.0% 1.4% 2.8% 3.3%
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