U.S. retail and food service sales inched down 0.4 percent in March 2013 to $418.3 billion for its biggest drop since June 2012, according to the latest retail report from the Census Bureau. Monthly changes in sales have remained within a range of 1 percent for the past six months and within 2 percent since March 2010.
March’s sales value was up 0.6 percent since the beginning of the year, when it was $415.8 billion. Sales in the first three months of the year totaled $1.3 trillion, up 3.7 percent over the same period in 2012.
Year over year, sales decelerated to 2.8 percent growth in March from 4.4 percent in February. Year-over-year changes have been consistently up since October 2009.