U.S. retail sales jumped 9.8% in March as federal-stimulus funds were released and the economy reopened further from pandemic-related restrictions, the WSJ reported.
- The increase was the largest monthly gain since May 2020, during the initial rebound from lockdowns early in the pandemic.
- Double-digit gains were recorded in sales at restaurants and bars, clothing; electronics; and sporting goods. Spending increased both at brick and mortar and online stores.
- Gains were likewise recorded in sales for auto dealers due to strong demand for vehicles, and at gas stations as pump prices rose.
- Analysts attributed the growth to the reopening of the economy throughout March as more states ease the restrictions, and the increase in the number of individuals being vaccinated against COVID-19.
- An average of 2.9 million vaccine doses were administered daily across the U.S. in the seven days ended April 9.
- Meanwhile, the federal government disbursed about 159 million stimulus payments worth over $376 billion since mid-March.