Keeping Track ...

US spending spree

Retail sales rose 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted $239.6 billion last month, maintaining the momentum set in February.

Sales in those months were revised upward last week to 1.7 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

And while the March numbers looked mild by comparison, they showed continued strength by consumers. Inflation, meanwhile, stayed tame in March.

The consumer price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent after a 0.1 percent rise in February - a 1.7 percent annual clip.

Higher energy prices were offset by falling food prices.

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