Retail Sales Rise Ninth Month in a Row

U.S. retail sales increased for the ninth month in a row,
the U.S. Commerce Department announced April 13.

Sales rose 0.4 percent, seasonally adjusted over February,
the Department said, and 7.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year. 

Meanwhile, the National Retail Federation estimated retail
industry sales for March increased 0.6 percent seasonally adjusted from
February, and 3.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year. The group’s numbers
exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants.

“Improving financial situations including the temporary
payroll tax cut, wage gains and a strengthening labor market likely supported
March spending gains,” said NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz in a statement.
“If gasoline prices can stabilize over the next few months, consumer spending
may continue to grow.”??

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