Consumer Spending Sees a Comeback in March

April 18, 2019

After a stretch of weak spending in the first few months of the year, consumer spending bounced back in March. The strong numbers are another positive sign that economic growth in the first part of the year may be stronger than expected.

Retail sales in March were up 1.6 percent from the previous month, climbing to $514.1 billion. This is the largest monthly increase since 2017. Economists had expected an increase of 1 percent.

The month’s sales were driven by cars and car parts, as well as gasoline. While furniture and clothing stores saw their biggest increases in nearly a year, pretty much every type of store saw increased sales. The only exceptions were sporting goods, hobby stores, and book stores.

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