Hampton Roads’ retail sales* realized a strong increase in April and May of this year, showing the largest growth since the onset of the recession. Regional retail sales increased to $1.77 trillion in May 2013, slightly higher than the $1.76 trillion in sales achieved in April 2013. This compares favorably to the state, which has continued to have relatively flat retail sales over the past two months. Retail sales for the region remain 3.4% below their prerecession peak, compared to the U.S. where retail sales are 11.1% higher than the nation’s prerecession peak (unlike state and regional data, national data includes internet sales).
*Hampton Roads retail sales are measured through the local 1% Local Option Sales Tax, which measures most retail sales, but misses several important transactions, including the sale of gasoline, automobiles, and services, as well as all untaxed internet sales.