0.5% Rise For Retail

    March 16, 2005

Retail sales in the U.S. went up 0.5% last month helped by demand for automobiles.

Analysts had predicted a 0.8% jump, but the disappointment was partially made up by the government’s revised estimate for January.

An Associated Press article says:

“For February, auto sales rose by 0.7 percent, recouping part of the 2.1 percent plunge in sales that occurred in January. The drop reflected a reduction in the incentives that auto dealers had offered in December in an effort to reduce their inventories of unsold cars.

In a separate report, the Commerce Department said that inventories held by businesses on their shelves and back lots increased 0.9 percent in January, a significant acceleration from a 0.2 percent inventory increase in December. Analysts had been expecting a strong advance reflecting business efforts to restock shelves in anticipation of further strong gains in sales.”

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