March brings wet, rainy conditions
-- Casual Living, 3/1/2008 12:00:00 AM
March 2007 was the warmest in three years and ranked as the second warmest in 113 years of national records. During the month, 79% of the nation trended warmer than the year before. Only New England missed out on the warmth as Old Man Winter kept his grip on the region with plenty of snow and cold temperatures.
The first days of March 2008 will start off on a milder note for the nation as a whole but will turn much cooler and wetter than last year for the duration of the month. This unfavorable weather, the slowing economy and high energy costs will all contribute to downward pressure on retail sales, resulting in tough comparisons to last year.
Stores will need to use strong incentives to draw out shoppers. Outdoor furniture, accessories and grills will see sluggish demand for most of the nation as cool and wet weather hangs on. The one bright spot in March will be across New England where less snowfall and slightly warmer temperatures will be a positive factor.