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HomeNewsEconomyRetail Sales Fall Unexpectedly in March Amid Weak Auto Sales

Retail Sales Fall Unexpectedly in March Amid Weak Auto Sales

holiday-retail-shopping-consumers
holiday-retail-shopping-consumers

Consumers ready for holiday shopping, the busiest time of the year for retail outlets. (Photo: Reuters)

The Commerce Department reported U.S. retail sales fell by 0.3% in March largely fueled by weak auto sales, missing the median forecast for a 0.1% rise. Excluding the volatile auto component, retail sales increased by 0.2% juxtaposed to expectations for a 0.4% increase.

In March, U.S. auto sales fell by 2.1%, which is the largest decrease in a little more than a year. Auto sales were essentially unchanged in February. Americans are buying fewer automobiles this year after record purchases in the prior year. However, receipts at service stations continued to rise (by 0.9%) in March as gasoline prices increase, marking the largest gain since June.

The so-called core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product. Analysts had forecast the core retail sales component to rise 0.3% in March.

The report released on Wednesday is the latest piece of economic evidence that growth in the U.S. stumbled in the first quarter.

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PPD Business, the economy-reporting arm of People's Pundit Daily, is "making sense of current events." We are a no-holds barred, news reporting pundit of, by, and for the people.

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