Both ICSC-Goldman and now Redbook are reporting the slowest rates of sales growth since mid-November. Redbook reports a plus 1.6 percent year-on-year rate for same-store sales last week. The report says the week's unusually cold weather did boost sales of winter goods but also kept traffic down. It also notes that the presidential election held down traffic. Redbook's month-to-month comparison with December shows a sizable 0.5 percent decline which points to weakness for the government's ex-auto ex-gas reading of the 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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