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One of the key indicators of the robustness of consumption spending in the U.S. economy is retail sales. In this study, I look at long term trends in retail sales, both pre and post the 2008 recession to determine if the sales trends have been materially altered after the 2008 recession. Using regression analysis, I develop time-trend regressions for two time periods 1999-2007 and 2009-2017. I test the hypothesis that the regression B-coefficient for the 1999-2007 period is larger than the B-coefficient for the 2009-2017 period, with the difference a proxy for the recession effect on retail spending. I also look at the e-commerce component of retail sales and carry out the following analysis: (1) I develop trend regressions for e-commerce sales pre and post 2008 recession and (2) I develop trend regressions for the ratio of the e-commerce sales to total retail sales pre and post 2008 recession. I expect the e-commerce B-coefficients to be larger after the 2008 recession.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Tony S Caporale, Robert D Dean

Primary Advisor's Department

Economics and Finance


Stander Symposium poster


Presenter: Luke Anthony Bir

Trends in Retail Sales Pre and Post 2008 Recession