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After a peculiar pick up in April, the chain store sales trendline has reverted to a complete collapse, dropping a whopping and record 4.6% in May. Looks like tax refund stimulus benefits have done their temporary magic and now all trends are back on their usual course.

Below is the definition on Chain Store Sales for those unfamiliar:

The monthly chain store sales data are compiled in two basic forms: (1) based on comparable- store sales (the primary measure) and (2) based on total company stores. They are sales weighted indexes and currently cover a little more than 80 chains. The compilation of the data as an index allows for continuity over the long haul (much like a stock price index).

Source: Retail Chain Store Sales Take a Dive