Weekly holiday retail sales remain strong

Consumers continued to shop during the week after Christmas as chain store sales rose by 0.2% for the week ending Jan. 1, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS Weekly Chain Store Sales Index. On a year-over-year basis, the sales pace rose by 4.6%, which was the strongest gain since June 19, 2004.

“Consumers continued to spend during the post-Christmas period and the performance over the last two weeks was a pleasant surprise to an uncertain and uneven season,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research. “Sales seem to be on track for the 3% to 3.5% year-over-year gain that we expect for December.”

The ICSC-UBS Weekly U.S. Chain Store Sales index measures nominal same-store or comparable-store sales excluding restaurant and vehicle demand.