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U.S. Retail Sales Climb 0.5% In March

Partly reflecting a spike in sales by gas stations, the Commerce Department released a report on Thursday showing an increase in U.S. retail sales in the month of March.

The report showed retail sales rose by 0.5 percent in March after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.8 percent in February.

Economists had expected retail sales to increase by 0.6 percent compared to the 0.3 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding a pullback in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales jumped by 1.1 percent in March after rising by 0.6 percent in February. Ex-auto sales were expected to increase by 1.0 percent.

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