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Chicago Fed Letter, No. 176a, April 2002
Analyzing an Economic Indicator: The Michigan Retailers Survey (Special Issue)

While national retail sales information is readily available, it is difficult to obtain state or regional data. To address this need for local information, the Michigan Retailers Association and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago began a monthly survey of retailers in July 1994. The survey compares sales, inventories, prices, promotions and hiring plans versus the prior year and analyzes retailers’ expectations. Seasonally adjusting the index will make it an even better tool for researchers and business analysts in the future.

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