Mixed bag of retail sales for March

Sales in NAICS code 444 were up slightly, and sales of automobiles were up significantly, according to government data released today. 

U.S. retail sales, as estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau in a report released Friday morning, showed a decline in March, compared with the previous month. 

Retail and food service sales adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $418.3 billion, down 0.4% from February. The figure was up 2.8% from March 2012. 

Retail trade sales were down 0.6% from February 2013, but up 2.6% from last year. Nonstore retailers were up 13.5% from March 2012.

Retailers classified as building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (NAICS code 444) posted adjusted sales of $25.48 billion in March, up slightly from $25.47 billion in February, and $25.29 billion in March 2012.

Also, auto and other motor vehicle dealers were up 7.4% from last year.