Retail sales beat expectations for the month of March, showing off a gain after an upwardly revised February. Retail sales were up 0.2%, after a 0.4% drop in February. Sales excluding autos were up 0.1%. Economists were expecting a 0.1% drop in sales.
Sales were strong at sporting goods stores and over the Internet, where sales increased 1.4% and 2.1%, respectively. Gasoline station sales, up 18.9% in the past year, rose another 1.1% for the month. Excluding gas, total retail sales were flat.
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