U.S. March retail sales rebounded 1.6%, and were up 1.2% excluding autos
U.S. March retail sales rebounded 1.6%, and were up 1.2% excluding autos, stronger than forecast, following 0.2% declines respectively in February (ex-autos revised from -0.4%). Sales excluding autos, gas, and building materials climbed 1.0% from -0.3% (revised from -0.2%). Strength was in vehicles/parts sales which increased 3.1% from -0.1% (revised from 0.7%), with gas station sales climbing another 3.5% (February revised to 3.5% from 1.0%). Clothing rebounded 2.0% from -1.8% (revised from -0.4%). Other big movers included miscellaneous sales (1.8%), furniture (1.7%), and non-store retailers (1.2%). The report is much better than expected, and comes after lots of distortions in recent months, including weather, sluggish tax refunds, the government shutdown, and now a late Easter.