Retail Sales Suggest U.S. Economic Slowdown

April 13, 2005
U.S. retail sales in March of this year were a seasonally adjusted $339.3 billion, three-tenths of a percentage point higher than they were in February, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on April 13. However, March's increase was less than half the ...

U.S. retail sales in March of this year were a seasonally adjusted $339.3 billion, three-tenths of a percentage point higher than they were in February, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on April 13.

However, March's increase was less than half the seven-tenths percent gain that economists generally expected. And since consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of all U.S. economic activity, the March retail sales figure gives added credence to the notion that first-quarter inflation-adjusted U.S. GDP growth will be less than the nearly 4.5% annual rate that has been forecast.

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