With the end of March, retail sales statistics from the year’s first quarter have been released. According to our friends at The Private Bank, Retail sales rose .9% in March, the first gain in four months. While the pickup in purchases was the biggest in a year, the gain fell short of the 1.1% consensus. Demand increased in 9 of the 13 major retail categories, led by a 2.7% jump in auto sales. Retail sales excluding autos rose .4% after being little-changed in February. Furniture stores, building materials outlets, general merchandise stores, and restaurants were also among the categories showing rebounds in demand last month after poor weather hurt sales in the prior month.
It should be interesting to gauge the impact of the warmer weather this Spring on retail sales in the second quarter.
Source: The Private Bank