Retail: Total sales up in first quarter 2018
Total retail sales during the first quarter of 2018 were up by 4.1 percent compared with the same quarter in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
U.S. retail and food services sales in March came in at $494.6 billion, for an increase of 0.6 percent compared with February. Compared with March 2017, the total is 4.7 percent higher.
Car sales in March had the largest monthly gain for any sector, a full 2 percent. For the year, car sales were up 4.5 percent.
And health and personal care stores also recorded an impressive gain, as sales spiked 1.4 percent compared with February. For the year, that category enjoyed an increase of 0.8 percent in sales.
Also up for the month, each by less than 1 percent, were furniture stores, electronics stores, grocery stores, restaurants and non-store (Internet) sales, which were up 0.8 percent.