Retail sales rose 2.0% in the week ended March 5, according to the weekly retail sales report released by Johnson Redbook Tuesday.

Month-over-month sales slipped 0.5% compared to February.

“Sales were below plan in the first week,” the report said. “The first week of March was the smallest week in expected sales volume, and therefore unrepresentative, making it too early to determine the trend of the month as a whole.

March sales are expected to be slower for the rest of the month compared to last year due to the later Easter this year. The Easter weekend falls three weeks later than it did last year, shifting holiday business into April.

Meanwhile, discounters noticed a pick-up in apparel including men’s wear, women’s wear and footwear. Soft lines continued to drive sales at department stores. Retailers are looking for improvement in seasonal business in particular, as warmer weather draws closer.”

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.