Chain Store Sales (week ended 8/18/2012)
- ICSC-Goldman Store Sales (week/week) -1.5%. Previous was -0.3%.
- Store Sales year/year +3.1%.
Store Sales Year/Year +1.9%. Previous was +1.8%.
Reality is more alarming than this data. These reports are of "nominal" sales uncorrected for inflation moreover they have "survivor bias." Survivor bias shows up, for example, in retail book stores. Borders store are closed and no longer counted. Assuming that many of those Borders customers now shop at Barnes and Noble their sales will increase. It will look as if more books are being sold than were sold last year.
These chain store reports look at stores opened today which were also opened a year ago. When sales are contracting survivor bias overestimates year/year sales. When new stores are being added the method of only counting stores that were open a year ago underestimates sales.
The decrease in Treasury prices and consequent increase in yields (and mortgage rates) is best summed up in this sentence from today's online WSJ: "U.S. Treasurys fell as investors clung to hopes that euro-zone policy makers will soon take bold action to stem their region's debt crisis."