Home, Retail Sales Keep Sliding

Retail decline due mainly to big autos drop; foreclosures depressing housing values
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2008 11:36 AM CDT
A sale sign stands outside a new, single-family home in east Denver on Sunday, March 16, 2008.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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(Newser) – The housing market continued to plunge in the first quarter of 2008, as single-family sales dropped 22% from their year-ago pace, to 4.95 million annually. Bloomberg reports that the median home price is off 7.7% from a year ago, to $196,300, as foreclosed properties drag down values. Meanwhile, US retail sales were off in April, mainly because of a big drop in autos.

Vehicle sales were down 2.8%, the Wall Street Journal reports; but stripping data from carmakers out, sales of other retail items increased by 0.5%—beating analysts' expectations of a 0.3% increase and showing that the economy, outside of housing, might be regaining some strength.