Monday, 27 January, 2020


Retail Sales Rose in March As Consumers Spent on Cars, Appliances

President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum imposing tariffs and investment restrictions on China a month Retail Sales Rose in March As Consumers Spent on Cars, Appliances
Conrad Doyle | 16 April, 2018, 22:47

The three-month moving average was up 4.8% over the same period a year ago, and the results come as NRF is forecasting that 2018 retail sales will grow between 3.8% and 4.4% over 2017. The results reinforce a Federal Reserve prediction that the declines were transitory, following increased spending after two hurricanes that struck the United States previous year. Compared with March 2017, the total is 4.7 percent higher. For the year, that category enjoyed an increase of 0.8 percent in sales. These so-called core retail sales, which correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product, were previously reported to have risen 0.1 percent in February. For the year, auto sales were up 4.5 percent.

Personal consumption and retail spending had disappointed analysts in recent months, feeding expectations the USA economy will see slower growth in the first quarter of the year.

Much of the monthly gain was driven by auto sales, which were up a full 2 percent in March, the largest monthly gain for any sector.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of USA economic activity, grew at a robust 4.0 percent annualised rate in the fourth quarter.

The higher spending could support GDP growth in the first quarter, which is expected to be sluggish. But most expect it will rebound in the second quarter and top 3 percent.

Economic growth estimates for the January-March quarter are running below a 2 percent rate. Also up for the month, each by less than 1 percent, were furniture stores, electronics stores. grocery stores, restaurants and of course non-store (Internet) sales, which were up 0.8 percent.

Retail spending in the world's largest economy gained 0.6 per cent for the month, rising to US$494.6 billion, overshooting economists' expectations and marking the biggest gain since November.

But sales at building material stores fell 0.6 percent last month and receipts at clothing stores dropped 0.8 percent. They fell at home and garden stores, clothing shops and sporting goods stores.

"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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