March 2013 adjusted retail sales of Electronics and Appliance Store stores were $8,122 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Adjusted Electronics and Appliance Store sales were down from $8,257 million in February 2013. Adjusted estimates are concurrently adjusted for seasonal variation and for holiday and trading day differences, but not for price changes.
March unadjusted sales at Electronics and Appliance Stores were $7,802 million, up from $7,756 million in February.
Unadjusted sales are down 1.6% in the first three months of 2012.
March 2013 overall retail sales in the United States (which excludes car sales, gas stations, and food service sales) were down 0.6% from February 2013, but were up 2.6% from March 2012.
The National Retail Federation blamed the March decrease in sales on colder weather in much of the country, as well as "harmful fiscal policy"--specifically, the payroll tax hike that was put in place at the start of 2013.
"Retail is the vehicle that drives our economy, and the consumer dictates the speed," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "With consumer confidence low, Washington decision makers need to focus on a long-term, economic roadmap that creates fiscal certainty for American families. And we need policies that encourage job growth and capital investment by business generally and the retail industry specifically, an industry that supports one in four American jobs. Without either, economic recovery will continue to sputter along, and the consumer will keep their foot off the pedal."
"While we remain optimistic that retail sales will grow modestly this year, it seems like the economy is off to a shaky start as we enter the second quarter," said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. "Improving housing prices and lower gas prices may help to offset the toll of increased taxes and sequester."
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