US Retail Sales Rose 0.6% in March

US Retail Sales Rose 0.6% in March

Sales of furniture and home furnishings were also strong, growing by 0.7% versus the month before, alongside an increase of 0.5% in electronics and appliance store sales and a 1.4% jump in spending at health and personal care stores.

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

Gas station receipts fell by 0.3 percent in March - the largest drop since July - largely due to cheaper gasoline. Sales at nonstore retailers grew 0.8% following February's 0.9% increase.

In other economic news Monday, confidence among homebuilders continued to slide for the fourth consecutive month as steadily rising mortgage rates and sky-high home prices put ownership out of reach for more Americans.

NRF reported a 0.3% annual gain on a seasonally-adjusted basis from February to March, with annual retail sales in March up 5%.

"It's nice to see the bounce-back here - to me it's just on trend", Societe Generale senior US economist Omair Sharif said.

Grocery and beverage stores were up 5.9% year-over-year and up 0.2% from February. Total retail sales in the first quarter of 2018 were up as well, by 4.1 percent compared with the same quarter in 2017.

The March figure for retail control group sales, used to calculate gross domestic product but excluding food services, auto dealers, building materials stores and gasoline stations, gained 0.4 percent, as predicted. Store purchases account for about one-third of US consumer spending, while spending on services such as haircuts and mobile phones plans makes up the other two-thirds.

A solid March result helps in setting the second quarter up for a healthy rebound with consumer spending expected to expand by around 3 percent, stated TD Economics. For the year, auto sales were up 4.5 percent.

Read Tuesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.