Same-store receipts at 55 of the nation's top chain-store retailers climbed 3.9% last month, according to Thomson Financial. That's above the 3.1% forecast. Same-store sales, considered the best measure of retail growth, are gleaned from the receipts rung up at stores open longer than a year.
At the International Council of Shopping Centers, which calculates same-store sales in a slightly different manner, the results were 3.7% higher, exceeding the 3% projection.
"Overall, the tone was pretty good," said Michael Niemira, ICSC's chief economist. "It was certainly a nice finish to the fiscal year -- and a nice start to the calendar year."
I'm still at a loss for the disconnect between the problems in the housing market and the continued strength of consumer spending. One of the reasons I thought there would be a recession at the end of 2006 or early 2007 was the expectation of the housing market problems bleeding into consumer spending. That hasn't happened. At least not yet.