Melaniphy & Associates Inc.

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Retail sales rise, but aren’t at pre-recession levels

Retail sales in the Chicago area inched up slightly in the first quarter, marking the first year-over-year improvement since 2007, but also signaling that the region has a long way to go to recover from the economic downturn.

According to a report to be released today, the six-county metropolitan Chicago area generated $21.29 billion in sales for the first three months of 2010, up $43.5 million, or 0.20 percent, from the same period a year ago, according to the report from Melaniphy & Associates Inc. The city of Chicago had $4.76 billion in sales, an increase of $12.4 million, or 0.26 percent.

The report concludes that while consumers are loosening their grips on their wallets, retail sales fell so dramatically during the recession that the region has yet to make up the lost ground. Get the full story »