Redbook, unlike ICSC-Goldman which reported weakness, reports retail strength in the August 13 week. Redbook's year-on-year same-store sales tally shows an above-trend plus 4.7 percent pace. The report says tax-free holidays in a number of states helped sales as did clearance sales for summer goods. It reports mixed results for the early back-to-school season with some retailers reporting above target results so far but others saying hot weather is hurting sales of fall apparel. Redbook offers a month-to-month tally which is plus 0.6 percent so far in August in what is a positive indication for another month of gains in the ex-auto ex-gas reading of the government's monthly retail sales report.
A weekly measure of comparable store sales at chain stores, discounters, and department stores. It is a less consistent indicator of retail sales than the weekly ICSC-Goldman index. It is also calculated differently than other indicators. For instance, figures for the first week of the month are compared with the average for the entire previous month. When two weeks are available, then these are compared with the average for the previous month, and so on through the month. It might be more useful to compare year-over-year figures since these are indeed compared to the comparable week a year ago. This index is correlated with the general merchandise portion of retail sales covering about 10 percent of total retail sales.
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