Mexico's National Association of Supermarkets and Department Stores (ANTAD) said its members' same-store retail sales fell 1.3% in March compared with the year-ago period.

Total sales for March rose 4.1%, much lower than the 13.4% growth recorded in February 2004, reported Reuters.

Mexican retailers expect sales to pick up over the full year due to a recovery in the country's economy and higher consumer confidence.

ANTAD includes most of the country's major retails, including Comerci, Soriana and Gigante. Retail giant Wal-Mart de Mexico left ANTAD in 2002 over a dispute about competitive pricing displays.