Chain store sales rebounded last week, with sales up 0.4% versus the previous week, according to new data from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). On a year-over-year basis, sales are up 3.6%, ICSC data show.
In the weeks ahead, high-frequency data such as chain store sales will provide clues as to whether or not the equity market’s rally is positively influencing consumer behavior. The “rally” is of course in the eye of the beholder; equities have largely moved sideways this year.
Nevertheless, to the extent that consumer behavior was negatively influenced during the summer months by the market sell-off that occurred in May, the recent rally could similarly affect behavior in the opposite direction. Data show that the 3-month change in equities correlates well with retail sales, which means the equity market’s rebound might soon boost consumer spending.