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profishingrods.com October 21, 2018


Retail sales see varying gains in March, says Commerce and NRF data

16 April 2018, 10:32 | Joann Bryant

March Retail Sales Rose 4.5% YOY

Retail Sales Rose 0.6% in March

With auto sales rebounding strongly, the Commerce Department released a report on Monday showing retail sales in the US increased by more than anticipated in the month of March.

Compared to the same month a year ago, retail sales were up by 4.5 percent in March compared to the 4.1 percent year-over-year increase in February.

Sales at furniture and home furnishings stores were up 0.7% from February seasonally adjusted and up 4.1% year-over-year.

Retail trade sales were up 0.6% from February 2018, and 4.7% above a year ago.

Gas station receipts fell by 0.3 percent in March - the largest drop since July - largely due to cheaper gasoline.

Economists largely blame the weakness in retail sales at the start of the year on delays in processing tax refunds. Compared with March 2017, the total is 4.7 percent higher.




Last month's pick-up in core retail sales did little to change expectations of a sharp slowdown in consumer spending in the first quarter. "People were so built up on the economy and tax cuts, but our view is that it's more steady than acceleration".

Economic growth estimates for the January-March quarter are running below a 2 percent rate.

Clothing and clothing accessory stores were up 6.1% year-over-year but down 0.8% from February seasonally adjusted.

The modest increase in ex-auto sales partly reflected a 1.4 percent spike in sales by health and personal care stores. Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores was the only other sector to post a year-over-year sales decline in March - down 3.3%. Bars and restaurants gained 0.4 per cent.

In a separate report on Monday, the New York Federal Reserve said its Empire State index tumbled seven points to a reading of 15.8 in April.

"This is a healthy spending report despite market volatility, unseasonable weather and uncertain economic policies", NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said.



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