Economy

Furniture sales climb 3.9% in March

Furniture sales climb 3.9% in March

U.S. retail sales increased more than a half-percent last month, the U.S. Commerce Department said Monday - a sign of greater-than-expected consumer confidence.

Online and other non-store sales were up 7.6 percent year-over-year and up 0.8 percent over February seasonally adjusted.

Retail sales in March were up slightly from February to March, with annual increases seeing better gains, according to data issued today by the United States Department of Commerce and the National Retail Federation (NRF). Sales increased 0.7% from revised up sales of $9.86 billion in February.

Released at the same time, the April Empire Fed is forecast to slip to +18.6 from +22.5 but the market reaction will be driven by the retail sales report.

The March results build on improvement seen in February, which was up 0.2 percent over January and 4.3 percent year over year. So-called retail control-group sales, which are used to calculate gross domestic product and exclude food services, auto dealers, building-materials stores and gasoline stations, gained 0.4 percent, matching estimates. Refunds from 2017 returns may have also given retail sales a boost in March.

"We remain upbeat for the coming months", he added.

More news: Ola plans to roll out 10k electric three-wheelers in a year

Even with the bounceback, consumer spending probably expanded at a slower pace in the first quarter.

Sales rose at grocery stores, restaurants and bars, and drug stores.

But sales at building material stores fell 0.6 percent last month and receipts at clothing stores dropped 0.8 percent.

Sporting goods stores were down 0.9 percent year-over-year and down 1.8 percent from February seasonally adjusted.

"This is a healthy spending report despite market volatility, unseasonable weather and to uncertain economic policies", said NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz.


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