Thursday, April 26, 2018
US consumers bounced back in March and bought more cars, furniture and appliances after three months of declining retail sales. The Commerce Department says retail sales rose 0.6% last month, the largest increase since November. Auto sales jumped 2%, the most in six months. Sales rose at grocery stores, restaurants and bars, and drug stores. They fell at home and garden stores, clothing shops and sporting goods stores. Retail sales were expected to bounce back in the spring after a pause in spending following the holiday season. What’s likely to keep the spending going in the months ahead are rising incomes and recent tax cuts that have put more money in people’s pockets. Annual tax refunds are also expected to give the economy a shot in the arm. Among retailers reporting monthly sales, L Brands was up 3.0% and Costco was up 5.8%. See sales reports below.