U.S. retail sales rose 0.9 percent in March after declining in the last three months as consumers bought automobiles and other goods. It was the largest gain since March of 2014.
Nine of 13 major categories showed increases in March. Automobile sales surged 2.7 percent, the biggest rise since March 2014. Receipts at building material and garden equipment stores increased 2.1 percent, the largest rise since July 2013. Sales at clothing stores rose 1.2 percent and at restaurants and bars grew 0.7 percent. There were also increases in sales at furniture stores and sporting goods and hobby shops. In contrast, sales at gasoline stations, online retailers, electronic and appliance stores declined.
Core retail sales (excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services) rose 0.3 percent after a revised 0.2 percent decline in February. Retail sales excluding autos were up 0.4 percent after being stable in February. Sales excluding gas and autos increased 0.5 percent after declining 0.3 percent in the previous month.
4/14/2015 2:02:45 PM