March's Retail Sales and Consumer Prices See Small Gains
April 13, 2010 - Enticed by subdued inflation, March's retail sales surged higher than anticipated, an indication that consumers are regaining confidence in the economy.
Seeing the largest gain in four months, the Commerce Department reported that retail sales rose 1.6%.; A boost in car sales allowed retail sales to increase. All other retail sales, excluding the automobile sector, rose 0.6%.
The Labor Department reported today that U.S. consumer prices rose just 0.1% in the month of March. Core consumer prices, which exclude volatile food and energy prices, remained unchanged.
Consumer trends are crucial to the U.S. economy because 70% of gross domestic product consists largely of consumer spending.