U.S. chain-store sales rose 3.8 percent year on year for the week that ended on May 19, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Goldman Sachs. However, the week-to-week change in comparable-store sales this month continued to reflect a negative trend. ICSC observed a 1.7 percent drop in same-store sales, the fourth consecutive weekly decline.
''Consumers seemed to take a ‘time out’ despite the abnormally warm temperatures throughout the nation and receding gasoline prices,'' said Michael Niemira, ICSC's vice president of research and chief economist. ''With the arrival of Memorial Day and the 'kick-off' to summer this coming weekend, consumers may start to be motivated for summer-related merchandise and help round out the fiscal month of May on a positive note,'' Niemira added.
ICSC Research expects comparable-store sales to increase by 3 percent for the month of May. The weekly chain-store sales snapshot is produced by ICSC and Goldman Sachs to measure U.S. nominal same-store, or comparable-store, sales while excluding restaurant and vehicle demand. The weekly sales index is presented on an adjusted basis to account for normal seasonal and other data anomalies.