Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Store sales post slight increase

By Parija Kavilanz, senior writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Store sales rose slightly in March, aided by a surge in furniture and home furnishings, and robust gains in electronics and gasoline sales, the government reported Wednesday.

However, the overall gain was offset by a 1.7% decline in auto purchases in the month.

The Commerce Department said total retail sales rose 0.4% last month.

Economists surveyed by Briefing.com on average had forecast an increase of 0.5% for March, compared to a 1% gain in sales the prior month.

Sales excluding autos and auto parts rose 0.8% in March, slightly better than expected, compared to a 0.7% increase in ex-auto sales in February.

Economists had expected a 0.7% uptick in the measure, according to Briefing.com.

According to the government report, furniture and home furnishing purchases jumped 3.6% in March. Electronics sales increased 2.1% while sales of clothing rose 0.6%.

Gasoline station sales rose 2.6%, boosted by higher gas prices.

Elsewhere, department store sales slipped 0.2% in the month.

Sales at miscellaneous, such as florists, used merchandise stores, pet and pet supply stores fell 2.1% and slipped 0.3% among online-only merchants. To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,351.38 293.03 1.82%
Nasdaq 4,749.98 113.87 2.46%
S&P 500 1,948.86 35.01 1.83%
Treasuries 2.19 0.02 0.97%
Data as of 5:50am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.85 0.32 2.06%
Apple Inc 112.34 4.62 4.29%
General Electric Co 24.57 0.69 2.89%
Alcoa Inc 9.32 0.10 1.08%
Netflix Inc 105.44 -0.35 -0.33%
Data as of Sep 2
Sponsors

Sections

Several currencies have plummeted this year. That's bad in the short term. Long term it could be a good thing though. More

Carriers, Apple and phone recyclers are fighting to give you the best iPhone trade-in deal. More

How do you run a successful crowdfunding campaign? Indiegogo's CEO Slava Rubin offers his top tips and mistakes to avoid. More

Millennials are looking for a buying opportunity and the current stock market gyrations seems to offer that. Many are jumping in. More