Retail Sales Tumble During Early Days of War

U.S. retail sales fell 9.9% for the first four days of the war in Iraq, according to ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate. Compared with sales for the same dates (March 20-23) of last year, the biggest drop occurred on March 20, the first full day of combat: Sales plunged 13.9%.

Although retail sales fell just 2% for the week ending March 22, compared with the previous week, they dropped 9.8% from the same week of 2002. But ShopperTrak, a provider of sales-tracking software, believes that the decline has more to do with the Easter holiday falling three weeks later this year than with the war.