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Consumers Cut Back, Sales Reports Show

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with less shopping.

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GREENE: Higher taxes and slow hiring cut into consumer purchasing last month. That's what analysts say is behind a disappointing March retail sales report. Today, the Commerce Department reported .4 percent drop - that's the biggest drop in nine months. Consumers cut back at auto dealers and at gas stations. They also bought less from department and grocery stores, and they bought fewer electronics and sporting goods. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.