Retail sales were down last month

The severe cold weather last month was not just brutal on state residents, but for Michigan’s retail industry as well as sales fell dramatically, based on a new monthy survey from the Michigan Retailers Association. The M-R-A’S February Michigan Retail Index survey shows sales plummeted as the temperature fell below zero repeatedly, with only 31-percent of their members able to increase sales over the same month a year ago,  while 52-percent recorded declining sales. Tom Scott, of the M-R-A, says the subzero temperatures and snowfall were just not a good combination for consumers and they stayed warm at home instead of going out to stores.  The harsh weather, however, did little to temper the short-term optimism that retailers had built up in December and January, with 75 percent expecting better sales between March and May compared with last year. Scott says the economy continues to be slowly improving, so once the weather straightens out retail prospects should improve as well.  (MRN)

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