Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Retail Sales decreased 8.7% in March

by Calculated Risk on 4/15/2020 08:38:00 AM

On a monthly basis, retail sales decreased 8.7 percent from February to March (seasonally adjusted), and sales were down 6.2 percent from March 2019.

From the Census Bureau report:

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for March 2020, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $483.1 billion, a decrease of 8.7 percent from the previous month, and 6.2 percent below March 2019.

Due to recent events surrounding COVID-19, many businesses are operating on a limited capacity or have ceased operations completely. The Census Bureau has monitored response and data quality and determined estimates in this release meet publication standards.
emphasis added
Retail Sales Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows retail sales since 1992. This is monthly retail sales and food service, seasonally adjusted (total and ex-gasoline).

Retail sales ex-gasoline were down 8.0% in March.

The second graph shows the year-over-year change in retail sales and food service (ex-gasoline) since 1993.

Year-over-year change in Retail Sales Retail and Food service sales, ex-gasoline, decreased by 4.9% on a YoY basis.

The decrease in March was well below expectations, however sales in January and February were revised up, combined.

Note: The graphs show the 2020 recession starting in March 2020.