Spanish retail sales, at constant prices, declined 3.9% in March, compared to the same month a year ago, according to the data released by the National Statistics Institute (INE).
The decline in sales indicates a decrease of three tenths, as compared with the rate from February 2012.
Retail sales, on a calendar-adjusted basis, edged down 3.7% in March, compared to the same month a year earlier.
Excluding service stations, retail sales slipped 2.8% in March from the corresponding month last year.
The latest decline in sales marked the 21st month in a row of falling retail sales data, reported Reuters.
On an annual basis, large chain stores were the only distribution class that increase in sales in March 2012.
Food products sales grew 0.6% year-on-year in March after a 0.1% increase in the previous month, while non-food products sales slipped 6% in the month.
Household equipment sales registered the greatest fall, declining 8.9% year-on-year in March, following a 9.35% drop in February 2012.
Sales in service stations, after adjusting the prices effect, were down by 11.5%, as compared with March 2011.
In March 2012, other goods and personal equipment sales declined 6.7% and 0.4%, respectively, from the prior year's same moth.
All Autonomous Communities present negative interannual variations in their retail sales, while fifteen of them reported decrease in employment.
Employment in the retail sector was down 0.9% in March 2012, compared with the same month a year ago.
In the first quarter of 2012, the average rate of retail sector sales stands at negative 4.1%, compared to the prior year's first quarter.
During the same quarter, food products sales fell 0.2%, while non-food products sales slipped 6.1% from year over quarter.
Household equipment sales in the year-to-date period plunged 9%, while sales of other goods and personal equipment decreased 5.1% and 3.7%, respectively.
Spain's jobless rate shot up to 24% in the first quarter, the highest level since the early 1990s and one of the worst unemployment figures in the world.
Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo was quoted by Vancouver Sun as saying that the figures are terrible for everyone and terrible for the government.
"Spain is in a crisis of huge proportions," Garcia-Margallo said.
Image: Retail sales, on a calendar-adjusted basis, edged down 3.7% in March, compared to the same month a year earlier. Photo: jscreationzs