Store sales picked up in the August 24 week according to Redbook whose same-store sales index shows a plus 3.8 percent year-on-year rate. This reading is trending a bit higher than a month ago and points to slight strength for the August ex-auto ex-gas reading of the government's retail sales report. Redbook's specific month-to-month reading is signaling a 0.3 percent gain. Strength here contrasts with ICSC-Goldman's report which is pointing to no change for August. Redbook reports strength in the week for back-to-school sales though it notes that retailers are cutting prices to boost sales.
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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