US retail sales have grown steadily over the past decade. In 2009, total US retail sales amounted to $3.61 trillion. Fast forward a decade to 2019 and that number has grown to $5.45 trillion.
This is a 50.91 percent increase over a ten-year period and a 3.42 percent year-over-year growth from the previous year’s retail sales figures.
Despite retail sales growth in 2019, figures show a slight slowdown in the year-over-year increase when compared with 2017 to 2018’s growth of 4.23 percent. In 2017, US retail sales breached the $5 trillion mark for the very first time in history.
This is, however, nowhere near the relatively meager 1.90 percentage growth from 2014 to 2015 – the smallest year-over-year increase of the decade.
The strongest annual growth in the past ten years came in 2011. At just over $4.1 trillion, it’s a whopping 7.47 percent increase from 2010’s total retail sales figures.
US Retail Sales Growth in 2020
Even though the total number of US retail sales continue to increase on a yearly basis, 2020 is seeing growth come to a halt as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
This is evident in the US retail sales statistics of March 2020, where sales fell 5.85 percent from the previous month to $4.35 billion. This also marked a 3.36 percent year-over-year decrease from March 2019.
According to official data, clothing retail stores were the hardest hit as their March sales figures fell by as much as half (50.5 percent) from February. This is followed by furniture store sales and sporting goods stores with 26.8 percent and 23.3 percent decreases respectively.
On the other hand, general stores selling household products saw sales increase by 6.4 percent, while health and personal care stores had a 4.3 percent increase in sales.
Overall, total retail sales in the US for the first quarter of 2020 closed at $1.36 billion. While that’s a 1.88 percent increase from the same period in 2019, it’s the slowest year-over-year first-quarter retail sales growth in more than a decade.
Despite the slowdown in growth, analysts are still expecting total retail sales in the US to increase by between 3.5 percent and 4.1 percent in 2020.