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Retail Sales Gain but Disappoint in March

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March retail sales did not live up to Wall Street’s expectations, but did manage to grow moderately.

The lackluster performance of retail sales has dimmed confidence in the economy leading investors to believe that the Fed will not raise interest rates as much as expected.

According to a Reuters article,

“The Commerce Department said retail sales rose 0.3 percent last month, less than half of the 0.7 percent predicted by Wall Street, after a sharp downturn in department store and clothing sales.

Bond prices rose on the news and analysts said it implied weaker-than-forecast gross domestic product growth in the first three months of the year.”

Department store sales were a large part of the weak retail perfomance, dropping 2% after gaining 0.5% the month before.

A CNN Money article says:

“Among other categories, spending on electronics, furniture and home furnishings products all fell while consumers did buy more building materials, sporting goods, books and music products.

Excluding auto sales, retail sales saw a slim 0.1 percent increase. Economists, on average, had expected an increase of 0.5 percent. Ex-auto sales were up 0.4 percent the previous month.”

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Retail Sales Gain but Disappoint in March
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