Weekly retail sales continue to rise

Retail chain store sales continue to rebound and rose by 0.2% for the week ending March 19, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers-UBS Weekly Chain Store Sales Index. On a year-over-year basis, the overall sales pace increased by 3.4%.

“Although temperatures have been relatively cold in March for Easter apparel demand, customer traffic continued to remain healthy and is supporting spending,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research. “Given the current conditions and consumer spending trends, we expect that March sales will increase by 3.5% to 4%.”

The ICSC-UBS Weekly U.S. Retail Chain Store Sales Index measures nominal same-store or comparable-store sales excluding restaurant and vehicle demand. The weekly index is constructed using sales-weighted geometric average growth rates to preserve long-term consistency and is statistically benchmarked to a broad-based monthly retail industry sales aggregate that currently represents approximately 75 retail chain stores, which also is compiled by ICSC. A representative sample of those major retailers has been used as a control group to extrapolate the weekly sales index. As such, the weekly index statistically represents industry sales and is not just a sum of sales for a handful of retailers. The standard period used for the index is Sunday through Saturday, even though some retailers use a different weekly accounting period.