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Economy in Brief

U.S. Chain Store Sales Stabilize, but ...
by Tom Moeller  October 1, 2013

Despite stability last week, chain store sales remain depressed. The International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs reported that chain store sales ticked up 0.2% last week (+2.1% y/y). For all of this month, however, sales are down 1.3% from August after that month's 1.8% drop versus 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) 09/28/13 09/21/13 09/14/13 Y/Y 2012 2011 2010
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 540.7 539.5 544.8 3.2% 3.0% 3.2% 2.9%
   W/W % 0.2 -1.0 -1.6 -- -- -- --
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