Retailers from discounter Target to department-store chain Macy's reported better-than-expected sales in March in the latest sign that Americans are feeling better about the economy.
A combination of warm weather and high demand for spring fashions boosted revenue for the month, but analysts say there's much more than higher temperatures at play.
Americans initially cut back on spending during the recession and have continued to hold back in the slow recovery, but in recent months they've been feeling better about the economy as the stock market rises and unemployment falls.
"Retailers are benefiting from an improving employment and consumer confidence picture," said Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics, a research firm.
Only a small group of retailers report monthly revenue figures, which only take into account revenue at stores open at least a year. Still, industry watchers say there's a reason to be optimistic because the numbers offer a snapshot of consumer spending, which accounts for more than 70 percent of all economic activity.
Americans cut back on spending during the recession and have continued to hold back in the slow recovery. But in recent months, U.S. consumers have been seeing hope in some positive economic news. The stock market is up and unemployment is down.Page 1 of 3 | Next Page