March retail sales surged with $ 1,400 stimulus check

Sporting goods stores grew the most, followed by clothing stores.

Washington — A newly vaccinated American armed with a $ 1,400 stimulus check continued spending last month buying new clothes and going out to eat again.

Retail sales surged to seasonally adjusted 9.8% after declining about 3% last month. Commerce said Thursday..

It was the largest increase since May last year when the store reopened after it closed at the start of the pandemic. It was also far greater than the 5.5% increase expected by Wall Street analysts.

Thursday’s report, which covers about one-third of total personal consumption, improves the economy as vaccinations accelerate, business restrictions are relaxed and more people are willing to go shopping and eating. The latest signs of what you are doing. For example, employers added 916,000 jobs last month, the highest number since August. And consumer confidence in the United States soared to its highest level in March in a year.

A third stimulus check began in mid-March, with most adults receiving $ 1,400. So far, about $ 159 million in direct payments have been paid to households, for a total of $ 376 billion, according to the US government.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which surveyed more than 1,000 people, said households will spend about a quarter of recent stimulus checks on commodities. The rest of the money is used to pay off debts and save money.

Teresa Golden of Renton, Washington said she used the first two stimulus checks to catch up with rent and bill payments. In the latest, she spent $ 500 on Levi’s jeans, Old Navy clothing, and finish line shoes. An additional $ 500 was used to replenish the pantry with ketchup, sugar, spices, chlorox wipes, and other items that would last a long time on the shelves.

“I was finally able to catch up with the bill and spend a little money,” says Golden, who works on accounts receivable in the school system.

According to the Commerce Department, Americans spent cash on their cars eating out and renovating their homes. However, sporting goods stores showed their largest growth in March, with sales up 23.5% from the previous month as people bought outdoor equipment. This was followed by a 18.3% surge in clothing stores.

This is welcome news for clothing distributors who lost sales last year because they had to temporarily close their stores at the start of the pandemic. Companies say people are starting to socialize again and are using stimulus checks for new outfits.

According to Levi Strauss, shoppers have been stuck at home for a year and are buying wide-legged and loose-fitting jeans. At Macy’s, the demand for dresses is increasing as proms and weddings resume. American Eagle, a teenage retailer, said sales were growing because of “sick” demand for fashion.

However, not all retailers are benefiting. Bed Bath & Beyond, a seller of sheets and shower curtains, said this week that most customers are not eligible for stimulus checks and they spend them on food, clothing and gadgets. Things that the company doesn’t sell very much.

March retail sales surged with $ 1,400 stimulus check

Source link March retail sales surged with $ 1,400 stimulus check

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