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Economy in Brief

Chain Store Sales Are Firmer
by Tom Moeller  March 19, 2013

The International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs reported that chain store sales gained 1.4% last week (2.3% y/y) to the highest level since early-January. These gains pulled sales so March sales 1.9% above the February average which ticked up 0.1% from January. During the last ten years there has been a 61% correlation between the y/y change in chain store sales and the change in retail sales at general merchandise stores. That correlation recently has declined.

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 chain store figures can be found in Haver's WEEKLY database. 

ICSC-Goldman Sachs (SA, 1977=100) 03/18/13 03/09/13 03/02/12 Y/Y 2012 2011 2010
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 543.5 536.1 532.3 2.3% 3.0% 3.2% 2.9%
   W/W % 1.4 0.7 0.2 -- -- -- --
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