Overview: ICSC-Goldman Sachs and the Redbook retail sales indices

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Sep. 10 2014, Updated 1:00 p.m. ET

ICSC-Goldman Sachs and Redbook indices

This week, two major weekly retail indicators will release on Tuesday, September 9.

  • The weekly ICSC-Goldman Sachs Retail Chain Store Sales Index
  • The weekly Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index

Both indices only cover ~10% of the total U.S. retail sales. They will be for the week ending September 6. These indices include sales data from major retail chains like Costco (COST) and The Gap (or GPS). As a result, they’re closely watched by market participants.

Retail sales (XLY) can also be significant economic growth contributors. They made up ~27% of the gross domestic product (or GDP) in 2013—excluding food service sales. As a result, they have a significant impact on exchange-traded funds (or ETFs) that track stock indices like the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY), the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI), and the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM).

ICSC-Goldman Sachs Retail Chain Store Sales Index

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The Index is issued by the International Council of Shopping Centers (or ICSC) and Goldman Sachs (or GS). It measures the change in same-store sales. It’s based on a sample that includes major retail chains—for example, Costco (COST)—that statistically represent sales in the retail industry. The Index reading doesn’t include vehicle and restaurant sales.

Last week, the Index reported 4.8% year-over-year (or YoY) growth in same store sales. However, weekly sales were unchanged. The increase was largely driven by back-to-school shoppers.

Johnson Redbook Index

The Johnson-Redbook Index is another prominent weekly retail sales measure. It’s designed to capture same-store sales growth at chain stores, discount stores, and department stores. The Index provides guidance on retail sales trends. However, it only covers ~10% of the total retail sales in the country.

Last week, the Index was up by 4.9% YoY. Similar to the ICSC-Goldman Index, the increase was driven by back-to-school shoppers.

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