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Retail Sales in U.S. Increase in March by Most Since 2012

American retailers warmed up in March as the winter chill faded -- and it wasn’t just car dealers who benefited.

Sales jumped a greater-than-forecast 1.1 percent, the biggest gain since September 2012, following a 0.7 percent advance in February that was more than twice as large as previously reported, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Ten of 13 categories, from auto dealers to furniture and clothing stores, showed a pickup.