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Economy in Brief

U.S. Chain Store Sales Down Last Week, Up Last Month
by Tom Moeller March 4, 2008

The International Council of Shopping Centers ICSC-UBS Chain Store survey indicated that chain store sales fell 0.6% last week. The decline finished a four week period during which sales moved sideways. However, due to a firm 1.7% rise to open February sales for all of the month rose 0.4% from January following that month's 1.3% surge.

During the last ten years there has been a 45% correlation between the y/y change in chain store sales and the change in nonauto retail sales less gasoline.

The ICSC-UBS 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.

During the latest week the leading indicator of chain store sales from ICSC-UBS fell 0.3% after a 0.8% decline during the prior period.The index has trended steadily lower since early January.

An Expanded Look at Employment from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis can be found here.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 03/01/08 02/23/08 Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 487.0 489.9 2.1% 2.8% 3.3% 3.6%
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