Home » Upbeat March retail sales end 3-month steak of declines
Upbeat March retail sales end 3-month steak of declines
April 14, 2015
WASHINGTON (4/15/15)--Retail sales rebounded in March after three straight months of declines, according to Census Bureau numbers released Tuesday.
Sales jumped 0.9% and were driven by climbing vehicle sales, which rose 2.7% for the month. Excluding vehicle sales, sales still posted a strong month with a 0.4% gain.
"The March retail sales report confirms that at least some of the recent weakness was temporary, related to weather and the plunge in gasoline prices," said Scott Hoyt, Moody's analyst (Economy.com April 14). "What is particularly encouraging is that the strength in March came without a rebound in spending at gasoline stations, providing hope consumers are beginning to spend some of the money they have been saving at the pumps."
Gas station sales, which dropped by 0.6% in March, fell 22% on an annual basis.
At building supply stores, sales increased 2% during the month, while furniture stores, department stores, and miscellaneous retailers and apparel stores all reported growth increases of more than 1%.
Grocery stores, electronics and appliance stores, and nonstore retailers all experienced falling sales for the month, however.
Annually, retail sales climbed 1.3% in March, the weakest pace of growth since 2009, according to Moody's. Controlling for gas station sales, however, growth rose 4%.
Annual growth increases were driven by restaurants, drugstores and auto dealers, according to the numbers, while gas stations, department stores, and electronics and appliance stores were the only major segments to record year-over-year declines.