Retail sales saw healthy gains in March—rising 1.1 percent from the prior month and 3.8 percent from the year before, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The news heartened economists: “The economy is bouncing back in March following an unusually severe winter,” John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics, told Reuters.
Clothing and clothing accessories sales—the category that includes jewelry—rose 1 percent in March and 2.1 percent over the year before.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) found similar results—estimating that sales increased 0.8 percent adjusted month to month and 1.6 percent unadjusted year over year.
The NRF found that clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales increased 1 percent seasonally adjusted month to month, but decreased 2.3 percent unadjusted year over year.
“We remain optimistic that retail sales will continue their positive march this spring,” said NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz in a statement. “Consumers released some pent-up demand in March after two consecutive months of harsh winter weather that not only hampered employment opportunities but also retail sales.”