According to data from the government released on Thursday, consumers continued to shop in March, even though inflation reached its highest point since 1981.
Retail salesThe previous month saw a 0.5% increase, which is slightly lower than the 0.6% Dow Jones estimate. It also marks a slight deceleration in the downwardly revised 0.8% February gain.
According to the Consumer Price Index, inflation rose 1.2% in the last month.
The retail sales data are not adjusted to account for inflation. Gas stations saw the largest increase in monthly sales, with 8.9% sales growth due to gasoline prices rising 18.3% over the same period. This sector saw a 37% increase in sales over the last year.
However, online sales fell sharply in October, with sales falling 6.4%. The general merchandise and electronic stores experienced a 5.4% increase, while the sport and electronics markets saw 3.3% increases. Sales at bars, restaurants, and food and drink stores rose by 1%.
Overall, retail sales increased 6.9% over a previous year. This is despite CPI inflation rising 8.5% during that time, which was the highest since December 1981.
Other economic data initial jobless claimsThe week ending April 9 saw 185,000 claims, an 18,000 increase over the previous week. This is higher than the 172,000 estimate. The week-end report shows continued claims falling by 48,000 to 1.375 million.
Inflation continued to impact imports. prices rising by 2.6%The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that this was the highest monthly growth since April 2011. This was even higher than the 2.2% estimate.
Import prices rose 12.5% on a 12-month basis. This is the biggest gain for imports since September 2011.
Correction: In March, the consumer price index rose by 1.2%. The percentage was incorrectly reported in an earlier version.