By Mark Pender

NEW YORK (MNI) – MNI’s U.S. retail trade index rose for the third
straight week, up more than two points in the Aug. 28 period to a very
strong 61.6 to reflect deeply dispersed year-on-year growth, according
to the results of Market News International’s weekly survey.

Total sales are at a year-on-year +3.9%, up two tenths in the week
for the best reading in nearly three months. Same-store sales at +3.0%
are also the best reading in nearly three months.

Distribution is solid with 22% of the sample posting significant
gains in sales against just 3% posting significant contraction.

When adjusted, the results point to a +0.5% headline for the
Commerce Department’s retail sales headline.

On the income side, markdowns are taking their toll. Income is at a
year-on-year +11%, in trend with the last five weeks but well down from
the high teens that faded in July and the 20% rates that faded in May.

Sample size in the latest period is 229 retailers making up 153,900
separate U.S. retail locations.

Editor’s Note: MNI compiles its retail trade index based on a
weekly sample of company news and data.

** Market News International New York Newsroom: 212-669-6430 **