Recent Updates

  • Sweden: Business Tendency Survey (Oct)
  • South Africa: CPI (Sep)
  • Spain Regional: Regional Retail Trade (Sep)
  • Spain: Retail Trade (Sep)
  • France: INSEE Household Survey (Oct)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Chain Store Sales Continue Recovering
by Tom Moeller  July 24, 2012

Consumers' inclination to spend remained in place last week. Chain store sales rose 1.0% w/w (3.3% y/y) and are 3.6% higher than in June. During the last ten years there has been a 72% correlation between the y/y change in chain store sales and the change in retail sales at general merchandise stores. That correlation recently has increased.

General merchandise store sales account for 15% of total retail sales. 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 leading indicator of purchases at chain stores also has improved. Though it slipped 0.4% in the last week, the figure remained near its highest since before the recession. The composite leading economic indicator is compiled from four series: (1) The MBA's volume index of mortgage applications for home purchase, (2) the ABC News/Money magazine's survey of consumer buying conditions, (3) new filings for jobless benefits, and (4) the 30-year government bond yield.

The chain store sales data are in Haver's SURVEYW.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 07/21/12 07/14/12 07/07/12 Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 555.0 549.4 549.3 3.3% 3.2% 2.9% 0.1%
large image