Created: April 15, 2021 07:30 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Our consumer alert is taking a look at retail sales. The March numbers are a clear indication that you did not let that stimulus money burn a hole in your pocket! Retail sales rose a whopping 9.8%. As soon as that money hit bank accounts, consumers were off to the races.
Here are some of the items we were buying most:
In March, restaurants saw a 13.9% surge. It was thanks to the confluence of three events: Your stimulus cash, vaccinations and the relaxation of COVID restrictions.
The National Restaurant Association confirms that more than 110,000 restaurants closed last year. So the March pump in patrons helped prop up a struggling industry.
Now from a peak to a plunge. And this pandemic plunge is a good one. The plunge in new weekly unemployment claims was the lowest since March 14 of last year. That's good. But the number of continuing claims remains unchanged, a sign of an economy on the mend, but clearly not yet well.
And that's your consumer alert.
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