RAPAPORT... U.S. chain-store sales rose 3.2 percent year on year for the week that ended on January 19, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Goldman Sachs. However, on a week-to-week basis, comparable-store sales fell 1.5 percent, representing a third consecutive weekly contraction.
"Sales over the past week were mixed with department, apparel and grocery store business stronger on a year-over-year basis, but discounters, drug, office and furniture store business was weaker,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC's vice president of research and chief economist. "Despite the weekly declines, the good news is that the year-over-year pace of sales continues to remain robust.”
ICSC Research anticipates that comparable-store sales will increase by 3 percent in January, lower when drugstores are included. Looking ahead, ICSC also predicts a 3 percent increase in same-store sales for the 2013 calendar year. 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.