Key Points:

  • Retail sales, a measure of purchases at stores, restaurants and online, rose 0.7% in March from February, well above consensus of 0.3%.
  • Excluding autos, retail sales rose by 1.1% over the month, well above expectations of 0.4%.
  • Retail sales were 4.0% above March 2023 but CPI data released earlier this month showed prices have increased 3.5% in the last year.
  • Retail sales are not adjusted for inflation and reflect price differences as well as purchase amounts.
  • Total sales for the January 2024 through March 2024 period were up 2.1% from the same period a year ago.
  • The Right Facts will continue to monitor retail sales.