Retail sales declined 0.8% in March, the steepest drop in five months, the government said today, and analysts said it is not surprising due to a weakness in car sales and the plummeting price of gasoline.
The Commerce Department said retail sales totaled $116.6 billion in March contrasted with sales of $117.5 billion in February. Originally, the government said retail sales had fallen in January and February as well. But the latest revisions showed sales gains of 0.4% in January and 0.1% in February. The March decline was the sharpest since a 3.6% fall in October, 1985.