The Commerce Department is set to release its monthly report on retail sales at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Economists forecast that retail sales fell by 0.1% month-on-month in March, according to Bloomberg. That would be the first decline in six months, amid a slowdown in car sales and delayed tax refunds this year.
Excluding the volatile costs of autos and gas, core retail sales are expected to increase 0.3%.
“The downturn in auto sales is going to be a headwind for retail in general,” said Jim Baird, the chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors.
The Big Three automakers reported worse-than-expected sales in March, demonstrating that the market may have plateaued after an unprecedented seventh straight year of record sales.
Winter Storm Stella, which blasted through the Northeast in March, may have also impacted sales last month.