Chain Store Sales Rose 2.4% in June

June’s chain-store sales grew by 2.4 percent in a year-over-year comparison for the same month of 2006 for the nation’s chain stores, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc.

The pace of consumer spending in June was consistent with May’s 2.5 percent increase, as well as with the February through June trend of 2.3 percent, ICSC said. However, June sales growth was slower relative to its performance in 2006. In June 2006, sales grew by 3 percent, which is 0.6 percentage points stronger than June 2007’s gain. In 2006, sales also rose by 3.9 percent between February and June, which is 1.6 percent higher than during the comparable 2007 time frame.

“A consumer ‘soft patch’ began in February 2007 and the latest data suggested it continued through June,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research. “Looking forward to July sales results, ICSC Research expects industry comp-store sales will increase by 2.5-3 percent, a tad stronger than the recent trend.”

ICSC Chain Store Sales Trends is a monthly report on the U.S. retail industry’s sales performance based on an ICSC preliminary compilation of publicly available sales for 53 chain stores.