The Commerce Department said on Thursday retail sales surged by an impressive 1.6 per cent last month, the biggest increase since September 2017 and followed an unrevised 0.2 per cent drop in February.
Economists had forecast retail sales would accelerate 0.9 per cent in March. In all, retail sales in March advanced 3.6 per cent from a year ago, so March increases contributes for almost 50% of the increase.
December's sluggish sales in the run up to Christmas had put consumer spending and the overall economy on a sharply lower growth trend. Retail sales last month were probably helped by tax refunds, even though smaller than in previous years, following the US tax code changes under the Trump administration.