Retail Sales Perk Up in March

Warmer spring weather spurred continued consumer spending this March, according to the National Retail Federation.

March retail sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) increased 0.8 percent adjusted month-to-month and 1.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

March retail sales released today by the U.S. Census Bureau (which include categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants) increased 1.1 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 3.8 percent adjusted year-over-year to $433.9 billion.

“Consumers shed their winter coats last month for fresh, spring merchandise,” says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, NRF. “Retail sales increased in most categories and sectors as consumers took to stores to purchase new spring attire and home furnishings in hopeful expectation of warmer weather. Sales should continue to remain positive this spring with the approach of Easter and expected tax refunds.”