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    Warmer Weather Spurs March Sales Gains

    Improving economy, consumer confidence to push spending: NRF

    On the heels of warmer spring weather, March posted retail sales gains of 0.8 percent adjusted month-to-month and 1.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

    “Retail sales increased in most categories and sectors as consumers took to stores to purchase new spring attire and home furnishings in hopeful expectation of warmer weather,” said Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO. “Sales should continue to remain positive this spring with the approach of Easter and expected tax refunds.”

    March retail sales, released today by the U.S. Census Bureau, which include categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants, increased 1.1 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month ($433.9 billion) and 3.8 percent adjusted year-over-year.

    “Improving economic conditions and consumer confidence should push consumers to return to spending habits this spring,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Consumers released some pent-up demand in March after two consecutive months of harsh winter weather that not only hampered employment opportunities but also retail sales. We remain optimistic that retail sales will continue their positive march this spring.”

    NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries.

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