Breaking News
Close
Investing Pro 0
NEW! Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+ Try 7 Days Free

U.S. Retail Sales Skyrocketed in March as Stimulus Checks Landed

Economic Indicators Apr 15, 2021 13:36
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith

Investing.com -- U.S. shoppers wasted no time in spending their stimulus checks in March, embarking on their biggest spending spree in nearly a year.

Retail sales rose 9.8% according to data released on Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, well ahead of the 5.9% rise expected and the biggest monthly increase since May last year. The less volatile series of core retail sales also rose sharply, by 8.4%. The numbers for February were also revised up for both series.

The strength in retail sales was broadly distributed across almost all sectors: Sporting goods sales were up 24% after falling 6.9% in February. while apparel sales were up 18%, motor vehicles and parts were up 18%, and building materials sales were up 12%. Only food and beverage, with a 0.7% gain, lagged the overall trend noticeably.

"The level of overall sales should remain robust in the coming months with households on track to spend a part of savings accumulated during the pandemic," said Christophe Barraud, chief economist and strategist at Market Securities, in a blog post. "The large amount of excess savings accumulated since March 2020 (more than $1.750 trillion at the end of February 2021) could partly flood the economy from 2Q21.

Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor, noted meanwhile that "almost every retail group is now above pre-crisis levels. Even clothing where spending dropped more than 80% from February to April 2020."

He pointed out that the only outlier was the restaurant and bar sector, where spending is still 4.8% below pre-pandemic levels.

There was more encouraging news from the labour market front too, as initial jobless claims fell much further than expected last week to only 576,000, their lowest level since the pandemic began. Analysts had expected a figure of 700,000 ahead of time.

Last week's initial claims number was revised up by 25,000 to 759,000.

The jobless claims numbers have been uneven in recent weeks. However, the longer-term declining trend was clearly underlined as another 1.2 million people dropped off the Department of Labor's broadest measure of those claiming benefits under all unemployment-related programs. The overall number fell to 16.93 million in the week through March 27, from 18.17 million the previous week. The narrower number of continuing claims under federal and state programs

Elsewhere, readings from both the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's business study and the New York Empire State Manufacturing index both exceeded expectations too, although Nordea analyst Martin Enlund warned that both appeared to be merely catching up with the Institute of Supply Management's findings in its last monthly survey.

U.S. Retail Sales Skyrocketed in March as Stimulus Checks Landed
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Our Apps
DOWNLOAD APPApp store
Investing.com
© 2007-2022 Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.
Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
  • Sign up for FREE and get:
  • Real-Time Alerts
  • Advanced Portfolio Features
  • Personalized Charts
  • Fully-Synced App
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email