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March retail sales and the CPI were both released today. The table below shows retail sales data in nominal dollars:

There is a huge surge in nominal dollar sales YOY. After seasonal adjustments, the numbers look like this:

Even with inflation running at 2.3%, the March number is pretty strong. Interestingly, when you look at the breakdown of the sales, most of the increases come from higher gasoline and motor vehicle spending. The next table shows where we are in real dollars relative to before the crash:

This month's data confirms that a recovery is occurring, but remains very shallow. The NSA real dollar chart displays this - the solid line is the 12 month moving average:

(Click to enlarge)

Disclosure: No positions

Source: Retail Sales: Real Dollars Still Down on Pre-Crash Levels