Retail sales remain positive

Michigan retailers' confidence in sales over the next three months is up slightly, following March sales that remained positive, according to the latest Michigan Retail Index, a joint project of Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

"Concerns over the price of gasoline haven't evaporated, but they have quieted somewhat as prices have retreated from the $4 level," said MRA President and CEO James P. Hallan.

"Consumer spending also remains good, further allaying retailers' fears."

The Michigan Retail Index for March found that 49 percent of retailers increased sales over the same month last year, while 26 percent recorded declines and 25 percent saw no change.

The results create a seasonally adjusted performance index of 57.8, down from 59.3 in February. A year ago March it was 42.9.

The Index gauges the performance of the state's overall retail industry, based on monthly surveys conducted by MRA and the Federal Reserve. Index values above 50 generally indicate positive activity; the higher the number, the stronger the activity.

Published: Mon, Apr 30, 2012