Retail sales rebound in sign consumer weakness fading

Bishopville S.C. Multiple inmates were killed and others seriously injured amid fighting between prisoners inside the maximum security prison in South Carolina. (AP

Bishopville S.C. Multiple inmates were killed and others seriously injured amid fighting between prisoners inside the maximum security prison in South Carolina. (AP

That supports the Federal Reserve's view that such weakness was transitory, as well as the central bank's outlook for two or three more interest-rate increases this year following a quarter-point hike in March.

The stronger than expected retail sales growth was primarily due to the rebound in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, which surged up by 2.0 percent in March after slumping by 1.3 percent in February. On a year-on-year basis, building material sales rose a sound 5.3 percent year-on-year, and the fall in March probably reflects a give back after post-hurricane rebuilding activity in earlier months, noted TD Economics in a research report.

The data on Monday also showed that a decline in gasoline costs, as reported last week in the Labor Department's consumer-price index, may have weighed on filling-station receipts.

NRF reported a 0.3% annual gain on a seasonally-adjusted basis from February to March, with annual retail sales in March up 5%. The January 2018 to February 2018 percent change was unrevised from down 0.1%.

Bruce McArthur charged with 8th count of first-degree murder
Idsinga said investigators are looking into 15 other cold cases dating back to 1975, but have not found a connection. It was not immediately clear whether he had been reported missing in Sri Lanka, where his immediate family lives.

"This is a healthy spending report despite market volatility, unseasonable weather and to uncertain economic policies", said NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz.

Retail spending in the world's largest economy gained 0.6 per cent for the month, rising to US$494.6 billion, overshooting economists' expectations and marking the biggest gain since November.

The Commerce Department said on Monday retail sales increased 0.6 percent last month after an unrevised 0.1 percent dip in February.

The result put sales up 4.5 per cent over the same month a year ago, pointing to a trend of steady overall increases.

Woolworths checkouts hit by national outage
It's unclear how wide-spread the issue was, though by social media it's clear that Victoria, NSW and Queensland were affected. Woolworth confirmed that all stores were now open, even if they had temporarily pulled down their shutters during the outage.

General merchandise stores were up 6.3% year-over-year and up 0.3% from February seasonally adjusted.

Building materials and garden supply stores were up 3.8% year-over-year but down 0.6% from February seasonally adjusted.

Electronics and appliance stores were up 1.6 percent year-over-year and up 0.5 percent from February seasonally adjusted.

Health and personal care stores were up 0.4% year-over-year and up 1.4% from February seasonally adjusted.

Sensex stages recovery after falling 300 points in early trade
In Fridays' trading session, FII's sold 399 crores stock in the cash market whereas DII's bought 306 crores worth of stock. At 10am, Sensex was down 0.12% at 34,151.86 points, while the Nifty 50 edged down 0.14% to 10,466 points.

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