Retail Sales Jump 9.8% In March

April 15, 2021


Retail spending jumped in March, 9.8%, from February, as consumers took advantage of a fresh round of federal-stimulus checks and the economy reopened more fully from pandemic-related restrictions. The strong growth in retail sales came after a 3% dip in February due in part to severe storms.

Among the strongest month-to-month segments in March were:

  • Sporting goods and hobbies up 23.5%
  • Clothing & clothing accessories up 18.3%
  • Building materials and gardening supplies up 12.1%

Media outlet, CNBC reports that Bank of America’s credit card spending also showed a surge in late March. Bank of America economists said there was a 67% surge in card spending over the seven-day period ended April 3. The spending in that period was also 20% higher than the same period of 2019.

By quarter, year-over-year, seasonally adjusted retail sales, excluding food, increased 16.4% over the same quarter in 2020. In comparison, Q1 2020 retail sales increased 2.2% from Q1 2019.

March Retail Sales

 

Inflation pressures

How long the positive growth in retail sales will continue is anyone's guess, particularly as inflation ticks upward.

Earlier this week, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the March consumer price index increased 0.6% from March on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.4% in February. The March one month increase was the largest rise since a 0.6% increase in August 2012.

Over the last 12 months, the CPI index increased 2.6%, before seasonal adjustment, according to the government agency. Among the items included in the index, gasoline saw the biggest jump in March, up 9.1% and up 22.5% over a 12-month period. Apparel, however, declined 3% in March and has declined 2.5% over the 12-month period.

However, a few segments are seeing higher inflationary pressures on prices such as washing machines and dryers, up 5.3%, seasonally adjusted, from February and up 24.2%, unadjusted, for the 12-month period.

Jewelry and watches is another interesting segment, up 5.1%, seasonally adjusted, in March from February and up 6.7%, unadjusted for the 12-month period.

 


ABOUT SPEND MANAGEMENT EXPERTS

Spend Management Experts provides strategic guidance to optimize your supply chain. Using cost modeling technology and market intelligence, we help companies with their transportation, distribution and fulfillment spend. Often large shippers can reduce their spend across the supply chain by 20% or more. We specialize in reducing distribution costs, increasing efficiencies, dynamic reporting, greater budgeting and forecasting accuracy and optimizing supply chain execution. We leverage our proprietary models to identify savings and build negotiation strategies based on data and business cases. As industry experts, our fresh approach provides clients with straightforward details on exactly how savings are derived. Spend Management Experts is your competitive edge, delivered.

Connect with Spend Management Experts on TwitterLinkedIn, and the Spend Management Experts blog.

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Retail Sales Jump 9.8% In March

April 15, 2021


Retail spending jumped in March, 9.8%, from February, as consumers took advantage of a fresh round of federal-stimulus checks and the economy reopened more fully from pandemic-related restrictions. The strong growth in retail sales came after a 3% dip in February due in part to severe storms. Among the strongest month-to-month segments in March were:

  • Sporting goods and hobbies up 23.5%
  • Clothing & clothing accessories up 18.3%
  • Building materials and gardening supplies up 12.1%
Media outlet, CNBC reports that Bank of America’s credit card spending also showed a surge in late March. Bank of America economists said there was a 67% surge in card spending over the seven-day period ended April 3. The spending in that period was also 20% higher than the same period of 2019. By quarter, year-over-year, seasonally adjusted retail sales, excluding food, increased 16.4% over the same quarter in 2020. In comparison, Q1 2020 retail sales increased 2.2% from Q1 2019. March Retail Sales  

Inflation pressures

How long the positive growth in retail sales will continue is anyone's guess, particularly as inflation ticks upward. Earlier this week, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the March consumer price index increased 0.6% from March on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.4% in February. The March one month increase was the largest rise since a 0.6% increase in August 2012. Over the last 12 months, the CPI index increased 2.6%, before seasonal adjustment, according to the government agency. Among the items included in the index, gasoline saw the biggest jump in March, up 9.1% and up 22.5% over a 12-month period. Apparel, however, declined 3% in March and has declined 2.5% over the 12-month period. However, a few segments are seeing higher inflationary pressures on prices such as washing machines and dryers, up 5.3%, seasonally adjusted, from February and up 24.2%, unadjusted, for the 12-month period. Jewelry and watches is another interesting segment, up 5.1%, seasonally adjusted, in March from February and up 6.7%, unadjusted for the 12-month period.  

ABOUT SPEND MANAGEMENT EXPERTS

Spend Management Experts provides strategic guidance to optimize your supply chain. Using cost modeling technology and market intelligence, we help companies with their transportation, distribution and fulfillment spend. Often large shippers can reduce their spend across the supply chain by 20% or more. We specialize in reducing distribution costs, increasing efficiencies, dynamic reporting, greater budgeting and forecasting accuracy and optimizing supply chain execution. We leverage our proprietary models to identify savings and build negotiation strategies based on data and business cases. As industry experts, our fresh approach provides clients with straightforward details on exactly how savings are derived. Spend Management Experts is your competitive edge, delivered. Connect with Spend Management Experts on TwitterLinkedIn, and the Spend Management Experts blog.

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