US March retail sales rise 1.6% to highest level in two years

US retail numbers in March recover after a dismal report in February.

US dollar after US March retail sales Source: Bloomberg

US retail sales grew in March, rebounding from disappointing figures in February. The US Commerce Department noted that sales rose 1.6%. The statistics are the highest increase for retail since 2017.

US March retail sales:key figures

New car sales +3.1%
Gas sales +3.5%
Online businesses +1.2%
Restaurants +0.8%

Where did US March retail sales rise?

US retail sales jumped after new car sales increased after a decline in February. New car sales grew by 3.1% to its highest amount in 2019, and auto sales jumped 3.5%. Online businesses saw increases of 1.2% and restaurants saw customer growth of 4%. The only downside of the rise of retail was a surge in oil prices causing gas sales to increase by 3.5%.

What do the US March retail statistics mean for the economy?

The US March retail statistics likely are related to consumer confidence about the steady employment rate. The impressive retail numbers likely also mean that the improved spring weather led to Americans going out more to make purchases. Jim Baird, chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors, said that the US March retail numbers mean that the concerns about the US economy are premature.

‘The bottom line is this: fears about the softening in the economy late last year were overblown. Taken in its totality, a broad swathe of data still paints a largely positive picture’, said Baird.

Though the rate of retail growth is not as high as last year’s 4%, Baird said that the US March retail sales numbers should alleviate concerns about a recession.

‘Certainly, the pace of growth has slowed, but there’s still a vast difference between slower growth and no growth,’ said Baird.


This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.

See an opportunity to trade?

Go long or short on more than 16,000 markets with IG.

Spread bet and trade CFDs on our award-winning platform, with low spreads on indices, shares, commodities and more.

Live prices on most popular markets

  • Forex
  • Shares
  • Indices
Bid
Offer
Updated
Change
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Bid
Offer
Updated
Change
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Bid
Offer
Updated
Change
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-

Prices above are subject to our website terms and agreements. Prices are indicative only

Plan your trading week

Get the week’s market-moving news sent directly to your inbox every Monday. The Week Ahead gives you a full calendar of upcoming economic events, as well as commentary from our expert analysts on the key markets to watch.

You might be interested in…

Find out what charges your trades could incur with our transparent fee structure.

Discover why so many clients choose us, and what makes us a world-leading provider of CFDs.

Stay on top of upcoming market-moving events with our customisable economic calendar.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.