March US Retail Sales Rose 0.8%, Higher Than Expected
Sales at U.S. retailers rose sharply for the third straight month in March, as Americans continued to weather the hike in gasoline prices and splurged on buying new cars and renovating their homes. Retail sales jumped 0.8 percent in March, after advancing 1 percent in February, Commerce Department figures showed Monday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a much smaller gain of 0.3 percent. Sales excluding the auto sector also rose 0.8 percent last month, after having been up 0.9 percent in February and 1.2 percent in January.