According to the Commerce Department, retail sales fell 0.4 percent last month. It followed a 1 percent increase in February and a 0.1 percent decline in January.
There were also declines in different categories. Auto sales dropped 0.6 percent while gas station sales dropped 2.2 percent.
The decline in March indicates the higher Social Security taxes are affecting consumers and could lower growth in the spring.
Economist still predict economic growth accelerated to a roughly 3 percent in the January-March quarter. It would be a significant increase from the anemic growth rate of 0.4 percent in the October-December quarter.
Despite of declines in different retail categories, there were still positive reports in retail furniture sales. It reported a 0.9 percent increase, indicating that housing recovery is still encouraging more spending.
Christopher Rugaber of Associated Press gives a full report on the retail sales decline.