According to the US Census Bureau, retail sales in Maryland were down 3.8 percent in April 2023 compared to April 2022. Total US retail sales excluding nonstore retailers (not seasonally adjusted) in April 2023 were down -2.8 percent from April 2022.
April 2023 Gasoline Stations sales in Maryland decreased by 15.3 percent from the same period in the previous year, which is in line with the national average, a decline of 15.2 percent. Health and personal care store sales were up 10.6 percent, higher than the 5.6 percent increase nationally.
Retail sales are an important economic indicator because consumer spending drives much of our economy, and the State of Maryland relies on sales tax revenue as one of its primary revenue sources. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Maryland Bureau of Revenue Estimates in March wrote down fiscal 2024 revenues, partly because the Maryland economy appeared to be underperforming compared to the national economy in terms of employment and consumer spending.
The US Census Bureau introduced the Monthly State Retail Sales (MSRS) report as an experimental data product in September 2020. This blended data product uses the Monthly Retail Trade Survey, administrative data, and third-party data. Year-over-year percentage changes are available for Total Retail Sales excluding Nonstore Retailers and 11 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) retail subsectors.
For more information on the MSRS report, including explanatory materials and technical documentation, visit the US Census Bureau website.