Rome

March retail sales fall 3% compared with same time in 2012

Non-food items down over 6% in March

March retail sales fall 3% compared with same time in 2012

Rome, May 23 - Retail sales in March fell by 3% compared with the same period last year, national statistics agency Istat reported Thursday. The decline is due primarily to a drop in sales of non-food items, which fell by 6.1%. That dramatic drop was partly offset by a rise of 2% in spending on food, attributed mainly to the Easter holiday in March. Measured on a monthly basis, retail sales fell by 0.3% compared with February. The drop in retail sales is yet another sign of the lingering recession that is biting hard into consumer budgets and as a result, hitting the retail sector.

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