Retail Sales Jump 2.1%
March retail sales surged 2.1%, and were up 1.1% excluding autos. The figures were much stronger than expected (consensus estimates were 0.4% on both). The surprising strength suggests that consumers are holding-up much better than either the market feared or what March levels of consumer confidence would normally suggest. The data also suggest that the winter storm in February, and not war fears, accounted for nearly all of the weakness in sales that month -- thus providing for a huge rebound this month despite the onset of the war.
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