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Retail Sales and Wages Up in March: Report

However, furniture and garden stores saw declines last month.

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PHOTOGRAPHY: lucigerma/iStock.com

Continuing February’s gains, retail sales and wages were up in March, according to the CNBC/Nation Retail Federation Retail Monitor. 

March’s retail sales totaled a .36 percent increase month over month and were up 2.72 percent year over year in March. February increased .4 percent month over month and 2.7 percent year over year in February. 

“As inflation for goods levels off, March’s data demonstrates steady spending by value-focused consumers who continue to benefit from a strong labor market and real wage gains,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in the release of the report. “In this highly competitive market, retailers are having to keep prices as low as possible to meet the demand of consumers looking to stretch their family budgets.”

Online sales continue to dominate the retail market with 15.47 percent increase year over year. Sporting goods, hobby, music and book stores also continued to grow – up .86 percent month over month in March and up 8.33 percent year over year. Grocery and beverage stores and health and personal care stores both saw gains as well with increases of .03 percent and 1.17 percent month over month and 4.5 percent and 4.22 percent year over year, respectively. 

Clothing and accessories stores showed a slight decline in March – a decrease of .01 percent month over month. However, clothing and accessories store sales showed an increase of 2.13 percent  compared to year over year. 

Both building and garden supply stores and furniture and home furnishings stores saw declines in March. Building and gardening supply stores were down 2.13 percent month over month and down 5.28 percent year over year. Furniture and home furnishing stores were down 2.27 percent month over month and down 5.92 percent year over year. 

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