The results also build on the gains seen in February, which saw retail sales up 0.2 percent compared to January and a 4.3 percent increase year-over-year. The NRF also found that the three-month moving average retail sales have grown 4.8 percent compared to the same period last year.
“This is a healthy spending report despite market volatility, unseasonable weather and uncertain economic policies,” says Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist, NRF. “Consumers continue to show resiliency in spending, and these numbers reflect how the economy is performing with a strong job market, gains in wages, improvements in confidence, rising home value and judicious use of credit. The biggest risk to spending is in market fluctuations that could affect confidence, but we expect these basic improvements
Additional highlights from the NRF report include:
Online and other non-store sales increased 7.6 percent year-over-year and 0.8 percent over February.
General merchandise stores were up 6.3 percent compared to last year and 0.3 percent from February.
Clothing and clothing accessory stores increased 6.1 percent year-over-year but were down 0.8 percent compared to February.
Grocery and beverage stores were up 5.9 percent year-over-year and were up 0.2 percent from February.
Furniture and home furnishings stores increased 4.1 percent compared to last year and increased 0.7 percent over February.
Building materials and garden supply stores increased 3.8 percent year-over-year but were down 0.6 percent from February.
Electronics and appliance stores were up 1.6 percent year-over-year and 0.5 percent over February.
Health and personal care stores increased 0.4 percent compared to last year and 1.4 percent compared to February.
Sporting goods stores were down 0.9 percent year-over-year and were down 1.8 percent compared to February.
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