Retail Home Products Sales Climb in March

Consumers are spending despite lagging economy
April 14, 2016David Gill

US Census BureauWASHINGTON-March sales at U.S. furniture and home furnishings stores rose 0.3 percent over February sales and were ahead by 3.4 percent from March of last year, according to the monthly U.S. retail sales report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

At the other channels that sell home merchandise, sales at general merchandise stores were up 0.5 percent from February and 1.2 percent over March 2015. Sales at department stores (excluding leased departments) saw drops of 0.6 percent month to month and 6.1 percent year to year. Sales at nonstore retailers, including online and catalogs, fell 0.1 percent from February but increased 6.5 percent from March of last year.

Overall, U.S. retail sales in March totaled $446.9 billion on an adjusted basis, down 0.3 percent from February but up 1.7 percent from March of a year ago. Excluding dealers of automobiles and auto parts, overall retail sales rose 0.2 percent month over month and 1.8 percent year over year.

“Consumer spending remained healthy in March, despite weakness throughout the broader economy in the first quarter of 2016,” said Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist of the National Retail Federation. “While colder temperatures in March lessened spending on apparel, recent job and income gains indicate positive prospects for future household spending.”

David GillDavid Gill | Senior Editor

David Gill covers home textiles, small electrics housewares, personal-care products, cleaning products, mattresses, consumer electronics and major appliances. He also reports on retailers and writes about the business and financial side of both vendors and retailers. He has more than 30 years of experience in business journalism, and has worked for other publications and websites that cover consumer products from both the manufacturer and retailer sides. His outside interests include sports (he is a big fan of the New York teams and of British soccer), cooking, movies and theater. He occasionally enjoys a good cigar as well.


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