April 14, 2014

Retail sales increased in March

April 15, 2014 – Retail sales increased 1.1 percent on a month-over-month basis in March, according to data published by the Census Bureau and analyzed by NAFCU Senior Economist Curt Long.

"Pent-up demand due to several months of severe winter weather contributed to the positive monthly retail sales numbers," Long said in a NAFCU Macro Data Flash report. February's retail sales numbers were revised to an increase of 0.7 percent.

Core retail sales – excluding light vehicles and gasoline – increased 1 percent for the month while retail sales of auto and gas increased 1.5 percent in March.

Year-over-year growth in retail sales was 3.7 percent in March. The February number was revised up to 1.9 percent growth. Core retail sales increased 3.4 percent from a year ago, while auto and gas sales increased 4.5 percent from a year ago.

"Retail sales are expected to grow as the rest of the economy continues to improve throughout the year," Long said.