Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Retail Sales
Retail sales increased 0.8 percent in March, following a relatively strong 1.0 percent gain in February (revised down 0.1 percentage point), and is up 6.5 percent on a year-over-year basis. Sales were up across most major components. In fact, only health and personal care stores (down 0.2 percent) and miscellaneous store retailers (down 0.8 percent) posted decreases in March. Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers were the top gainers in March, with sales that jumped up 3.0 percent during the month and are up 14.1 percent on a year-over-year basis. Sales at gasoline stations rose 1.1 percent in March, though that was likely due to an increase in gasoline prices. Auto sales rose 0.9 percent in March, and are up 8.3 percent over the past year. “Core” retail sales—a cleaner measure of consumer spending trajectory—which excludes autos, building supplies and gas stations rose 0.4 percent in March, following a 0.5 percent gain in February. For the first quarter as a whole, retail sales rose at an annualized pace of 5.9 percent, slightly higher than its four-quarter growth rate of 5.3 percent.