Retails Sales Decline … Again

By at 14 April, 2023, 12:28 pm

by Raymond J. Keating – 

Retail sales declined in March … again. According to the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau, retail and food services sales declined by 1.0 percent in March.

For good measure, the declines were widespread in March – cutting across most retail sectors.

Retail and food services sales have now fallen in four of the last five months, as well as in six of the past nine months. The March drop came after a decrease of 0.2 percent in February. And after significant declines in November and December of last year, January saw a big jump up.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, FRED

In fact, retail and food services sales in March ($691.7 billion) are unchanged versus October of last year ($691.8 billion), with January’s jump being the saving grace.

It also must be kept in mind, however, that retail sales come in nominal dollars, that is, unadjusted for inflation. In real terms, the retail sales picture only gets worse.

The Fed’s efforts to sink the economy appear to be working, with nothing coming from Congress and the White House regarding pro-growth policies. Indeed, consumers have good reasons to rein in their spending.

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.


News and Media Releases