United States traders start the week with retail sales and the Empire Fed

United States traders start the week with retail sales and the Empire Fed

United States traders start the week with retail sales and the Empire Fed

Washington, DC, April 16, 2018-Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for March 2018 were $494.6 billion, an increase of 0.6% from the previous month, and 4.5% above March 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

USA retail sales rose by more than expected in March in the first gain in four months, suggesting consumer demand regained steam on the back of tax cuts and refunds. Sales at nonstore retailers grew 0.8% following February's 0.9% increase.

NRF reported a 0.3% annual gain on a seasonally-adjusted basis from February to March, with annual retail sales in March up 5%.

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Economists largely blame the weakness in retail sales at the start of the year on delays in processing tax refunds.

The higher spending could support GDP growth in the first quarter, which is expected to be sluggish. Control-group sales rose at a 1 percent annualized rate over the last three months, compared with 7.6 percent in the three months through December.

The data on Monday also showed that a decline in gasoline costs, as reported last week in the Labor Department's consumer-price index, may have weighed on filling-station receipts.

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Retail sales rebounded in March following two soft months, as consumers stepped up their spending on cars, home furnishings and appliances, the Commerce Department said Monday.

But sales at building material stores fell 0.6 percent last month and receipts at clothing stores dropped 0.8 percent.

Grocery and beverage stores were up 5.9 percent year-over-year and up 0.2 percent from February.

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"This month's decline in the Empire State six-month forward index may reflect trade-related uncertainties and the associated volatility of stocks, or other factors", said Roiana Reid, an economist at Berenberg Capital Markets in NY.

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