Retail control-group sales, which are used to calculate GDP and exclude the categories of food services, auto dealers, building materials outlets and gasoline stations, rose 0.5 percent after falling 0.2 percent in February.
Sales declined in six of 13 major retail categories in March.
Purchases at auto dealers decreased 1.2 percent in March after a 1.5 percent drop. Receipts at gasoline service stations fell 1 percent in March after decling 0.3 percent in February. Retail sales excluding autos were little changed for a second straight month.
Sales also declined at: building materials outlets (-1.5 percent vs +2.6 percent in February); furniture stores (-0.3 percent vs +0.2 percent ); sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores (-0.8 percent vs +0.4 percent); food services and drinking places (-0.6 percent vs -0.3 percent)).
Purchases rose at: electronics and appliances stores (2.6 percent vs -1.9 percent)), food and bevereage stores (0.5 percent vs 0 percent), health and personal care stores (0.1 percent vs 0.9 percent), clothing and clothing accessories (1 percent vs -2.7 percent) and general merchandise stores (0.3 percent vs -0.4 percent).