Retail Sales

Updated 2/20/2018
Key economic statistics
 This weekMonth agoYear ago
Retail Sales492003495381472142

What it means: Released monthly by the Department of Commerce, the retail sales figure (in millions) measures total sales of retail and food services nationwide.

How it's used: Retail sales are an excellent barometer for consumer spending, which fuels two-thirds of economic output. Any drop-off in retail sales indicates that consumers are reducing their level of spending and that harder economic times are likely.

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