US chain store sales declined 1.5% last week, the third consecutive weekly decline. August is off to a very weak start with chain store sales down 2% during the first 2 weeks. The 4-week moving average is turning decidedly downward after its strong rise between mid-June and the end of July. The 4-week m.a. is up 3.6% YoY, down from 4.3% at the end of July.