Stimulus Checks Fuel RV, Auto Dealer Sales

A photograph of a woman holding bills in varying monetary denominations fanned out in front of her face.

The Commerce Department reported advance estimates of March retail sales that saw RV, auto and motor vehicle dealer sales soar.

The Commerce Department reported dealer sales rose 15.5 percent from February and 71.1 percent from revised March 2020 estimates. March 2020 figures included at least two weeks of various nationwide stay-at-home orders because of the pandemic.

Analysts attributed rising retail sales estimates to consumer spending related to federal stimulus checks. The Commerce Department reported overall retail sales estimates up 9.8 percent in March from the previous month.

“Car sales were particularly strong in March,” said Ted Rossman, a senior industry analyst at, in comments to the Washington Post.

In addition, the Labor Department reported weekly initial jobless claims plunged to their lowest level since the pandemic’s onset. The Labor Department reported 576,000 initial jobless claims last week, a steep drop from 719,000 the week before. An additional 131,975 filed Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims, the 2020 program created for gig and self-employed workers.

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