Vaccines and More Money Get Shoppers Going Again

More Americans have been newly vaccinated and given their $1,400 stimulus checks, and those people have been going out on spending sprees. They buy new clothes and other items; they go out to eat together again. Because of this, retail stores have raised their sales by 9.8% in March after it had dropped 3% in February. Since May of last year, this was the most significant increase in retail sales when stores had reopened after closing at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also more significant than the 5.5% increase that the Wall Street analysts were expecting.

The increase in sales is becoming a sign that the economy is improving as more feel safer and go out. Business restrictions are a bit more relaxed as people are beginning to go out and eat willingly. The third round of stimulus checks was sent out in the middle of March, with most adults now receiving $1,400. At this point, about 160 million direct payments have been paid out to households, totaling $376 billion, as the U.S. government has said. The New York Federal Reserve Bank surveyed more than a thousand people, in which most of them said that they would be spending their stimulus checks on goods.

According to the Commerce Department, Americans have been spending their cash on cars, eating in restaurants, and home renovations. Sporting goods stores were seeing the most significant jump in sales, up by 23.5% in March. This was followed by clothing stores, where sales improved by 18.3%. This is warm and welcome news for clothing sellers, in which clothing sales dropped since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Companies are beginning to socialize again and using their stimulus checks for more outfits. Shoppers can finally relax a bit more with their money and the recent vaccinations, which means we are getting just a bit closer to the world we had before the pandemic started.