Apr 16, 2024
2 mins read
2 mins read

Retail Sales Climbed 0.7% in March

Retail Sales Climbed 0.7% in March

NEW YORK (NEWSnet/AP) — U.S. consumers boosted spending at a higher-than-expected pace in March.

Retail sales rose 0.7%, almost double what economists had forecast, after rising 0.9% in February, according to data released Monday by U.S. Department of Commerce.

Sales had fallen 1.1% in January.

The national average gas price Monday was $3.63 per gallon, per AAA, up 6 cents compared to a week ago, and up 19 cents from March.

The snapshot offers only a partial look at consumer spending and doesn’t include many services, including travel and hotel lodges. But the lone services category, restaurants, registered an uptick of 0.4%.

Government retail data isn’t adjusted for inflation, which rose 0.4% from February to March, according to the latest government report.

“Retail sales aren’t increasing just because prices are going up,” said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate. "Americans are actually buying more stuff."

Sales at general merchandise stores rose 1.1%, while online sales were up 2.7%. Department stores had a 1.1% decline. Furniture stores and electronics and appliance stores also a posted decline.

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