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Retail Sales Up 9.8 Percent Higher in March

Consumers used stimulus checks to shop

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Restaurants and bars saw a 13.4 percent surge | Shown: Subito in The Lytle Park Hotel | Photography: Photo Fusion Media, Park City, Utah

Retail sales are up 9.8 percent higher in March, reports the Commerce Department and CNBC. Between consumers receiving their $1400 government issued stimulus checks and retail reopening throughout the U.S., economists were already anticipating a gain of at least 6.1 percent.

Food and beverage, clothing and sporting goods were the main categories driving spending. Bars and restaurants experienced at 13.4 percent rise, while clothing and accessories gained 18.3 percent, motor vehicles and dealerships saw 15.1 percent and sporting goods raked in a gain of 23.5 percent.

Michael Pearce, a senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, told CNBC that he expects spending to drop back a bit in April but that with vaccination rollouts and people returning to work, overall consumption growth will continue to rebound in the second quarter.

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