Retail sales registered a stable increase last month, posting its best rise since last November. Upbeat sentiment over consumer spending boosted retail sales and is expected to continue to benefit retailers in the coming months. Stable job growth, better consumer confidence and a positive impact of tax cuts are expected to boost consumer spending and drive retail sales in the near future.

Auto parts, appliances and furniture dealers registered strong sales growth. Grocers, drug stores, and bars and restaurants too moved north. Given this healthy pattern of consumer spending, it will be wise to invest in those mutual funds that are linked to the retail industry.

Consumer Spending Rises in March

The Commerce Department said on Apr 16 that U.S. retail sales moved north in March. Sales at retail stores and restaurants rose 0.6% last month after decreasing 0.1% in February, reporting its best increase since November 2017. Out of the 13 major categories, eight registered improvement in sales for the month of March.

Car sales rose 2% to 101,295 in March, registering the best increase since last September. Car sales at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (“SAAR”) increased to 17.4 million units in March, the highest so far this year. Health and personal-care stores sales rose 1.4%, registering its best rise in last two years.

Further, the so-called core retail sales figure that excludes automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services advanced 0.2% in March following a similar 0.2% increase in February.

Steady job additions and a 17-year low unemployment rate are expected to have a positive impact on consumer confidence. Better consumer optimism, which along with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is expected to boost retail sales in near future.

Why Fidelity Mutual Funds?

Fidelity Investments is considered one of the leaders in the financial services industry with presence in eight countries of North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The company had total assets of $6.8 trillion, with around $2.4 trillion under management as of Dec 31, 2017.

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