Retail sales rose 0.5% in March amid inflation jump; import prices hit 11-year high

On April 12, 2022, customers pushing shopping carts shop in a San Mateo County supermarket.
Liu Guanguan | China News Service | Getty Images

According to data from the government released on Thursday, consumers continued to shop in March, even though inflation reached its highest point since 1981.

Retail salesThe previous month saw a 0.5% increase, which is slightly lower than the 0.6% Dow Jones estimate. It also marks a slight deceleration in the downwardly revised 0.8% February gain.

According to the Consumer Price Index, inflation rose 1.2% in the last month.

The retail sales data are not adjusted to account for inflation. Gas stations saw the largest increase in monthly sales, with 8.9% sales growth due to gasoline prices rising 18.3% over the same period. This sector saw a 37% increase in sales over the last year.

However, online sales fell sharply in October, with sales falling 6.4%. The general merchandise and electronic stores experienced a 5.4% increase, while the sport and electronics markets saw 3.3% increases. Sales at bars, restaurants, and food and drink stores rose by 1%.

Overall, retail sales increased 6.9% over a previous year. This is despite CPI inflation rising 8.5% during that time, which was the highest since December 1981.

Other economic data initial jobless claimsThe week ending April 9 saw 185,000 claims, an 18,000 increase over the previous week. This is higher than the 172,000 estimate. The week-end report shows continued claims falling by 48,000 to 1.375 million.

Inflation continued to impact imports. prices rising by 2.6%The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that this was the highest monthly growth since April 2011. This was even higher than the 2.2% estimate.

Import prices rose 12.5% on a 12-month basis. This is the biggest gain for imports since September 2011.

Correction: In March, the consumer price index rose by 1.2%. The percentage was incorrectly reported in an earlier version.

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