According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), many consumers spent very little due to cold weather throughout the country and due to a risky fiscal policy. The NRF has made an estimate that March retail sales decreased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted from last month, whereas increased about 1.6 percent unadjusted year-around. Furthermore, weaker March retail sales did not affect the sales of automobiles, restaurants and gas stations.
NRF President and CEO Mr. Matthew Shay explained that Retail is that important vehicle which is driving our economy, but the speed of this vehicle is in the hands of a consumer. In such an uncertain situation, where fiscal policy is being perceived as risky and harmful, there is a pressing need that American decision-makers create a long-term economic plan that ensures fiscal certainty for American consumers.
There is also a great need to generate such useful policies that give confidence to both capital investment by business and the retail industry, for it will increase the job growth in America. Without such encouraging policies, our economic revival will continue to suffer and consumers will spend less.
U.S Department of Commerce also released a report on March retail sales, which showed that total retail sales including non-general retail categories, decreased 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted month-by-month and increased 2.8 percent unadjusted year-round.
The Chief Economist of NRF Mr. Jack Kleinhenz said that the fall off in spending is no surprise, as a colder-than-usual winter, an anemic employment picture and delays in tax refunds impacted consumer spending across the board in March.
According to another report by NRF on March retail sales, sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales decreased about 0.8 percent seasonally adjusted month-by-month and increased 4.5 percent unadjusted year-round.