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Keeping Track ...

US spending spree

Retail sales rose 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted $239.6 billion last month, maintaining the momentum set in February.

Sales in those months were revised upward last week to 1.7 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

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And while the March numbers looked mild by comparison, they showed continued strength by consumers. Inflation, meanwhile, stayed tame in March.

The consumer price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent after a 0.1 percent rise in February - a 1.7 percent annual clip.

Higher energy prices were offset by falling food prices.

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