Retail Sales in Hampton Roads continue to disappoint, with March sales declining (-0.3%) on a seasonally adjusted basis. While the retail sales series tends to be very volatile, regional retail sales have declined two months in a row, are down 0.9% on a year-over-year basis, and remain 7.6% below their pre-recession peak.
Hampton Roads’ underperforming retail sales of March 2013 is mirrored by declines both at the state (-0.1%) and at the national level (-0.5%). National retail sales grew 3.7% between March 2012 and March 2013, and are 10.6% above their pre-recession levels. More recent information at the national level reveals that sales expanded by 0.1% in April 2013, which may be encouraging news for both Hampton Roads and the Commonwealth.