United States Rebook: ‘arcanum boni tenoris animae’.

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Same store sales were up 4.4 percent year-on-year in the December 16 week, surging by 1.1 percentage points from the prior week to an annual gain just 0.4 percentage points short of the November 25 peak, the highest level in nearly 3 years. Month-to-date sales versus the prior month were still negative and down 0.4 percent, the eleventh consecutive negative weekly reading though 0.3 percentage points stronger than last week, while the gain in full month year-on-year sales rose 0.4 percentage points to 3.6 percent, the strongest level since September 30. The strong and accelerating year-on-year sales gains reported by retailers in Redbook’s sample points to acceleration in ex-auto, ex-gas retail sales during the peak holiday sales season.

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The Johnson Redbook Index

What Is It: A quick glance at weekly sales at key department and chain stores.

News Release on the Internet: No free access. Available only to paid clients. See press stories for the latest chain store sales.

Home Web Address: www.redbookresearch.com

Release Time: 8:55 a.m. (ET) every Tuesday for the week ending the prior Saturday. The monthly report is released the first Thursday of the new month.

Frequency: Weekly.

Source: Redbook Research.

Revisions: Not on weekly figures. Redbook does release a monthly report in which the numbers are revised as more data arrives.

Bernard Baumohl. “The Secrets of Economic Indicators”


Market Impact

Participants in the fixed-income market monitor, if casually, the Redbook and the ICSC-GS chain store sales reports because they are a good finger-in-the-wind measure of consumer spending behavior. If you know what consumers are doing at shopping malls, it tells you something about their appetite to spend. Strong department store sales can make bond investors queasy because of their implications for the economy and inflation. On a slow financial news day, such a report can depress bond prices and cause yields to creep higher. However, traders are usually looking at other larger economic or political news, so the chain store sales report often slips into the background.


Investors in equities pay more attention to chain store numbers than their colleagues in the bond market. The weekly and monthly sales figures can set the tone for the retail industry as a whole. Healthy chain store sales growth could result in bigger corporate profits, and that often translates into higher stock prices. Second, these statistics provide some insight into which retailers are doing well and which are ailing, allowing investors with exposure in the retail sector to shift their money accordingly.


Currency markets do not react to the chain store sales numbers.





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