National Retail Sales Drop; Job Losses Rise

Nationwide retail sales dropped last month, with a 1.1 percent decrease a surprise decline, as job losses increased and consumers pulled back on spending.

The 1.1 percent decrease follows a 0.3 gain in February that was higher than expected, according to a Commerce Department report. Auto dealers, restaurants and electronic stores led the slide.

The indicators point to lower consumer spending in the second quarter and signal the recession will continue. Despite this, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says there are signs that the sharp decline in the country's economy is slowing, and this indicates a potential first step to recovery.

Another government report from the Labor Department shows prices paid to US producers fell unexpectedly fell last month after two months of gains, an indicator that the recession is curbing inflation.

The 1.2 percent decrease followed a 0.1 percent gain in February, says the report. Without including fuel and food, core prices remained unchanged. Over the last year wholesale expenses fell by the most in nearly 60 years.

About the Author

Linda McGlasson

Linda McGlasson

Managing Editor

Linda McGlasson is a seasoned writer and editor with 20 years of experience in writing for corporations, business publications and newspapers. She has worked in the Financial Services industry for more than 12 years. Most recently Linda headed information security awareness and training and the Computer Incident Response Team for Securities Industry Automation Corporation (SIAC), a subsidiary of the NYSE Group (NYX). As part of her role she developed infosec policy, developed new awareness testing and led the company's incident response team. In the last two years she's been involved with the Financial Services Information Sharing Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), editing its quarterly member newsletter and identifying speakers for member meetings.

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