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Economy in Brief

U.S. Chain Store Sales Back Away From Historic High
by Tom Moeller  May 8, 2013

The consumer took a break from spending more at the mall last week. The International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs reported that chain store sales fell 1.0% (+2.4% y/y). As a result, store sales began the month of May 0.6% below the April average which increased 3.8% m/m to a record high. 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 SURVEYW database. 

ICSC-Goldman Sachs (SA, 1977=100) 05/04/13 04/27/13 04/20/13 Y/Y 2012 2011 2010
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 558.0 563.7 561.4 2.4% 3.0% 3.2% 2.9%
   W/W % -1.0 0.4 0.8 -- -- --
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