U.S. chain-store sales rose 2.9 percent year on year for the week that ended on May 26, 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 as consumers turn more cautious with their spending patterns. ICSC observed a 0.5 percent drop in same-store sales, the fifth consecutive weekly decline.
"Consumers have been more pessimistic on many fronts during the month of May as the financial worries in Europe clearly have spilled over and weakened consumer confidence in the U.S. as the U.S. financial markets have retreated as well on increased global worry,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC's vice president of research and chief economist. “Given this, retail sales followed suit and retreated throughout the month of May.”
ICSC Research revised its outlook lower for comparable-store sales in May and forecasts an industry gain of about 2 percent, down from 3 percent predicted earlier. 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.