Furniture sales climb 3.9% in March

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

The results reinforce a Federal Reserve prediction that the declines were transitory, following increased spending after two hurricanes that struck the United States past year. Sales also dropped at gasoline stations, but rose modest on a year-on-year basis by 10 percent.

Consumers snapped up electronics, shopped online and frequented bars and restaurants, but sales sagged at department stores, gas stations and clothing outlets, according to the Commerce Department report. The market analysts are looking for consensus of 0.4% increase compared to a decline of 0.1% in the prior month.

NRF's numbers are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which said overall March sales - including automobiles, gasoline and restaurants - were up 0.6 percent seasonally adjusted from February and up 4.5 percent year-over-year.

Consumers shook off stormy weather last month to deliver retail sales growth.

The March results build on improvement seen in February, which was up 0.2 percent over January and 4.3 percent year over year.

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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.

Retail spending in the world's largest economy gained 0.6 per cent for the month, rising to US$494.6 billion, overshooting economists' expectations and marking the biggest gain since November.

Grocery and beverage stores were up 5.9% year-over-year and up 0.2% from February. Sales at health and personal-care stores rose 1.4 percent, the most in two years.

Clothing and clothing accessory stores were up 6.1 percent year-over-year but down 0.8 percent from February seasonally adjusted.

Sporting goods stores were down 0.9 percent year-over-year and down 1.8 percent from February seasonally adjusted.

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