Retail sales were weak in January and haven't improved in February, based not only on Redbook but also ICSC-Goldman which was released earlier this morning. Redbook's same-store year-on-year rate of plus 2.9 percent in the February 22 week is right in with rates earlier in the month. The 4-week average is also at 2.9 percent which is down slightly from 3.3 percent in late January. Heavy weather so far this year has kept a tight lid on retail 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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