Broad-based strength in retail sales
April 13, 2004,
WASHINGTON — Helped by the weather and stronger sales of cars and home improvement products, retail sales climbed unexpectedly higher during March, the Commerce Department reported, jumping 1.8 percent from February levels, and up 8.2 percent from the same period a year ago.
The strength in sales was broad-based, the agency reported, with gainers outnumbering losers by a margin of three to one. "March saw strong sales increases across the board," said Rosalind Wells, chief economist of the National Retail Federation. "Due to an early Easter and favorable spring fashions, consumers had plenty of reasons to shop last month."
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