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Economy in Brief

U.S. Chain Store Sales Soften
by Tom Moeller  August 20, 2013

Consumers have backed away from their earlier spending enthusiasm. The International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs reported that chain store sales fell 1.9% last week (+2.2% y/y). So far this month sales have fallen 1.3% from July. That pullback follows a 3.5% surge during July. 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.

ICSC-Goldman Sachs (SA, 1977=100) 08/17/13 08/10/13 08/03/13 Y/Y 2012 2011 2010
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 547.8 558.2 559.1 2.2% 3.0% 3.2% 2.9%
   W/W % -1.9 -0.2 0.3 -- -- -- --
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