Retail Sales Down in February

By at 16 March, 2023, 7:02 am

by Raymond J. Keating –

The news from the U.S. Census Bureau on February 2023 retail and food services sales was negative. The report revised January’s sales upward. 

Retail sales and food services sales were down by 0.4 percent in February. Let’s put that in perspective over the last several months.

January retail sales were revised up from a 0.2 percent gain to a 3.2 percent jump. And over the past eight months, we’ve seen declines in five of those months. Also, from June 2022 to December 2022, retail and food services sales were flat, including notable declines in November and December.

The takeaway word over this period has been: volatility.

Looking ahead, given new worries regarding banks related to and on top of misguided monetary policy from the Fed; Congress and the White House doing the wrong thing in numerous policy areas; and real and potential challenges on the international front, shouldn’t we expect that risk, uncertainty and volatility will persist?

Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. His latest book is The Weekly Economist: 52 Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist.


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