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Economy in Brief

U.S. Chain Store Sales Remain Down Versus Last Month
by Tom Moeller  May 29, 2013

Forward momentum in consumer spending was lost in May. The International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs reported that chain store sales slumped 0.9% last week (2.8% y/y). That was enough to pull sales so far this month 2.2% below the April average which was 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) 05/25/13 05/18/13 05/11/13 Y/Y 2012 2011 2010
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 543.1 547.9 546.9 2.8% 3.0% 3.2% 2.9%
   W/W % -0.9 0.2 -2.0 -- -- -- --
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