U.S. retail sales rose in March for the first time since late last year as consumers bought automobiles and other goods, bolstering views that a sharp slowdown in economic growth in the first quarter was temporary.
The Commerce Department said on Tuesday retail sales increased 0.9 percent. That was the largest gain since March last year and snapped three straight months of declines that had been blamed on harsh winter weather.
Sales in February were revised to show a 0.5 percent drop instead of the previously reported 0.6 percent decline.
The sturdy report could keep the Federal Reserve on track to start raising interest rates later this year. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales rebounding 1 percent last month.