US Retail Sales Slow Slightly in March

March US retail sales increased at a slower pace than the previous month’s as inflation eased and the job market improved.

Revenue grew 0.7% from the month before to $709.6 billion — adjusted for seasonal variation — compared to an increase of 0.9% in February, according to data the US Census Bureau released Monday.

“As inflation for goods levels off, March’s data demonstrates steady spending by value-focused consumers who continue to benefit from a strong labor market and real wage gains,” said National Retail Federation (NRF) CEO Matthew Shay. “In this highly competitive market, retailers are having to keep prices as low as possible to meet the demand of consumers looking to stretch their family budgets.”

Sales climbed 2.7% from a year earlier, on par with February’s year-on-year results, the NRF added.

March sales were up year on year in six of the nine retail categories the NRF monitors, compared to eight last month. Sales in the clothing and accessories segment — which includes jewelry — were flat compared to February, but advanced 2.1% versus the same period a year ago. Online sales saw the largest year-on-year gain, rising 15%, while electronics, furniture, and building and garden supply products fell.

Source: Rapaport