Retail sales jumped by 1.1% in March, beating expectations for a 0.9% gain.
Excluding autos and gas, sale increased by 1.0%, which was much better than the 0.4% expected.
All of this is “partly due to households making up for lost time after the unusually bad weather kept them away from the malls in previous months,” said Capital Economics’ Paul Dales. “Nonetheless, it means that real consumption growth in the first quarter could be a little stronger than the 2.0% we have been expecting.”
As expected, autos were particularly strong with auto dealers seeing a 3.1% jump in sales of vehicles and parts.
Furniture sales climbed 1.0% and clothing store sales increased by 1.0%.
Nonstore retailers, which include internet shopping activity, rose by 1.7%.
Here’s a table breaking down which business saw growth and which ones saw contraction.
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