U.S. retail sales unexpectedly rose in March as consumers had to dig deep to cover record high gasoline costs, according to a government report Monday that did little to dispel the gloom hanging over the economy.
Meanwhile, business sales fell in February, leaving businesses with an unwanted buildup of inventories, a separate Commerce Department report showed. The inventory-to-sales ratio, which measure how long it would to deplete stocks at the current sales pace, rose to 1.28 months from 1.26 in January.
The economy appears on track for recession as a result of a severe correction in housing markets and a sharp pullback in credit have sharply slowed economic activity.
That leads to our Reader Poll. Have you changed your spending habits for fear of a prolonged recession?
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