Although retail sales in the U.S. rose in March for ninth straight month, a year-over-year gain of 7.1%, this was the slowest growth rate since August. Lower-than-expected growth rates are leading some forecasters to predict that the next couple months for the economy could be choppy. Although the March month-over-month growth was less than February, February had been revised upward.
Since most components of retail sales experienced gains, consumer spending appears to not yet be affected by increasing gas prices, although that could begin to happen in the coming months.
04.13.11 (Source: US Census Bureau)