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Auto rebound gives USA retail a bounce in March

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US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross shown at a business summit in Peru says he is vastly outpacing the Obama administration's anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases

Commerce reported that March was up 0.6% compared to February at $494.6 billion and was up 4.5% compared to March 2017.

Core retail sales - excluding automobiles and parts - rose 0.2%.

Retail sales rebounded in March following two soft months, as consumers stepped up their spending on cars, home furnishings and appliances, the Commerce Department said Monday.

USA retail sales rose by more than expected in March in the first gain in four months, suggesting consumer demand regained steam on the back of tax cuts and refunds.

Overall, retail sales rose 0.6 percent last month - the largest increase since November and the first increase since the end of the holiday shopping season.

Released at the same time, the April Empire Fed is forecast to slip to +18.6 from +22.5 but the market reaction will be driven by the retail sales report.

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The report said retail sales climbed by 0.6 percent in March after edging down by 0.1 percent in February.

The biggest losers for the month seemed to be weather-related, since much of the United States has experienced a cold early spring. Some also argue that income tax cuts, which came into effect in January, only reflected on most workers' paychecks in late February.

"We believe those forces will remain supportive for consumption in the second quarter, and after today's number remain comfortable with prospects for a rebound in household outlays this quarter". It is expected to have slowed to below a 1.5 percent rate of increase in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, sales dropped at building material & garden equipment supplies dealers, clothing and accessories stores and sporting goods hobby, books and music.

Sales rose at grocery stores, restaurants and bars, and drug stores.

While the stock market volatility has not yet impacted on consumer spending, it is chipping away at business confidence.

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