Monday, April 16, 2012

Retail Sales Grew 0.8% in March

Consumer spending continued to grow steadily in March, expanding 0.8%. This represents a slight slowdown from February’s (downwardly revised) 1.0% growth, but remains well above the 12-month average of 0.5%. Core sales, excluding autos and gas, accelerated in March, growing 0.7% up from 0.5% in February.

Growth was led by a 3% jump in sales at building supply stores, likely due to the warm temperatures seen in March. March’s growth was wide-based, however, with many categories expanding at or above 1%. These segments included gas stations, furniture stores, auto dealers, electronics, and clothing stores. The only market segments reporting declines were miscellaneous retailers and drug stores.

Year-over-year growth accelerated slightly to 6.5% in March, up from 6.4% in February. The strongest segments in growth for the year are building supply stores, non-store retailers and vehicle dealers.

Read the report.

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