On an adjusted basis, NAICS 444 sales were up 0.5 percent compared to February.
Overall retail sales held steady in March, even in the face of geopolitical turmoil and high inflation.
"While prices soared in March and eroded spending power, shoppers remained resilient and sales were healthy,” said National Retail Federation chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. “Consumers have the willingness to spend and their ability to do so has been supported by rapid hiring, increased wages, larger-than-usual tax refunds and the use of credit.”
Overall retail sales in March were up 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted from February and up 6.9 percent year over year. That compared with increases of 0.8 percent month over month and 18.2 percent year over year in February.
Despite occasional month-over-month declines, sales have grown year over year every month since May 2020, according to Census data.
NRF’s calculation of retail sales – which excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants to focus on core retail – showed March was unchanged seasonally adjusted from February but up 4 percent unadjusted year over year. In February, sales were down 0.7 percent month over month but up 13.2 percent year over year.